USGS Great Lakes Science Center

Wet Laboratory Upgrade
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Architect: None
Construction Cost: $2,054,229.00

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Great Lakes Science Center wet lab upgrade was completed in 2013. The wet lab formerly relied on a once through well water system to recreate different great lakes environments that were used to study the great lakes animal life and water quality. The old systems would circulate well water through individual habitat tanks then discharge directly into the city storm water system. The new system is a recirculating system, using sand filters and UV sterilization to maintain water quality. Filter backwash water is also captured, further filtered and sterilized using UV and used for make-up water. The new system will reduce annual storm water discharge costs and decrease water use by an estimated 52.6 million gallons per year. The recirculating system also allows for tighter temperature control using plate and frame heat exchangers with low temperature chilled water to provide a tank environment that matches the real world conditions within the tight tolerances required for scientific studies. These improvements are expected to save about 1.2 billion Btu of energy per year.

This project was recognized by the Department of Energy with a Federal Energy and Water Management Award in 2014.