At a Glance

Emory University’s innovative, ecologically engineered water reclamation system reduces campus potable water consumption by as much as 35%.

Project Description

When it comes to the sustainable use of water, Emory University in Atlanta, GA is at the forefront. It’s WaterHub®, designed by Sustainable Water, is an ecological treatment facility designed to collect and treat between 200,000 and 400,000 gallons per day of campus wastewater for non-potable reuse on campus. Once treated, reclaimed water is reused as process make-up at three central chiller plants and the campus steam plant, for irrigation of campus landscaping, and for toilet flushing at select dormitories–all compliant with stringent Georgia regulations. The hydroponic treatment system relies on complex adaptive ecosystems to break down nutrients and pollutants in water. The robust ecological treatment process produces a very high quality effluent that meets all federal, state and local regulations while consuming very little energy. Flexible site integration, a compact footprint and a green aesthetic also complement Emory’s campus and sustainability goals. Even the facility housing the system enhances the university’s water management, as it displaces previously existing impervious surface and harvests rainwater on-site for reuse.

Biohabitats coordinated and supervised commissioning of the treatment and reuse facility, ensuring that the system functioned as designed. The Biohabitats team managed the assembly of all operations and manuals and operator training. Biohabitats also managed the procurement and installation of all plants for the system.

The first water reclamation system of its kind, WaterHub® earned a 2018 Campus Sustainability Achievement Award from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. It not only serves as a model for water conservation, it also provides the university with unique opportunities for research and scholarship.



Southeast Atlantic

Physiographic Province



Peachtree Creek

Expertise Areas

Infrastructure, Urban Ecology, Water


Emory University


Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Project Team
  • Sustainable Water
  • Critical Flow