Monday, March 26, 2012

Google, Toilet Water and Data Centers


From Cade Metz … Google flushes heat from data center with toilet water:

Google is using toilet water to cool its data center in western Georgia.

In 2007, when Google first opened its massive computing center in Douglas County, Georgia, it cooled the facility's equipment using the same water that's pumped into the pipes of local homes. But at some point, the search giant realized that the water used by its evaporative cooling system needn't be clean enough to drink.

On Thursday, Google revealed that it's now working with the Douglasville-Douglas County Water and Sewer Authority to cool the facility with 100 percent recycled water. "When the residents of the county take showers and flush their toilets, they're helping to cool our data center," Joe Kava, the man who runs Google's data center operations and construction team, tells Wired.

The company may save some money in the long term with its recycled water. But according to Kava, that's not the primary aim. In partnering with the Sewer Authority, Google is no longer putting the same strain on the area's natural water supply—and it's making sure it can ride out a drought. "The finances make sense, but over a much longer period of time. It was really about being environmentally responsible and securing our supply if there was rationing of potable water," Kava says. "You don't want to contribute to any fresh water shortage."


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