Major theme parks are recycling water. With modular technologies, smaller parks can incorporate water sustainability too.
Theme parks are designed to provide a fun escape from everyday life, but behind the scenes many parks are focusing on serious issues, like helping the environment. For example, some parks are using water-saving infrastructure to recycle wastewater for irrigation, cleaning, and even recharging groundwater.
New modular technologies provide cost-effective decentralized water and wastewater treatment solutions that allow smaller theme parks to join large, well-known parks in their corporate commitment to sustainability, something today’s environmentally aware tourists can feel good about.
Let’s visit some theme parks and review a few of their environmental successes.
NBC Universal Parks & Resorts
Universal’s Parks & Resorts operations in Los Angeles and Orlando, Florida, use recycled water for irrigation when possible, and irrigation-control systems monitor weather and ground moisture to further optimize water use. The Universal Orlando Resort also uses recycled water in its HVAC towers, and Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles has installed waterless urinals. At Universal’s Volcano Bay water park in Orlando, filters significantly reduce water use in all attractions. Each year, Universal’s efforts save more than 300 million gallons of drinking water.
Walt Disney World Resort
Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando is the largest theme park in the world, and its wastewater requires infrastructure fit for a city of 300,000. All of it must remain hidden from guests. The park has adopted sophisticated resource-recovery and zero-liquid-discharge (ZLD) technology, ultimately achieving virtual ZLD and off-grid status.
The 15 million GPD treated by the park’s wastewater treatment plant is considered safe enough to drink. However, the park limits its uses to irrigation and cleaning its streets and buses. The resort also has a 1,000-acre site with 85 rapid-infiltration basins to recharge groundwater.
High-COD waste, including food, biosolids, and fat, oil, and grease (FOG) undergo anaerobic digestion at the resort, producing enough biogas to power the wastewater treatment, including anaerobic digestion, with energy to spare to power the attractions.
Disneyland Paris is the only theme park in Europe with its own wastewater treatment plant, which produces 2,100 m3/d of water to replenish waterways in parks and shopping areas, supply HVAC cooling towers, irrigate greens and golf courses, and wash pavement. The park reuses almost all of its wastewater.
Water Savings in Other European Theme Parks
A number of other theme parks in Europe are putting an emphasis on water conservation. Several examples include:
- In Denmark, Copenhagen’s iconic Tivoli Gardens cut its potable water use by 16% between 2013 and 2018.
- Europa-Park’s Rulantica water park in Germany uses an underground tank to protect the water in its Vildstrøm wild river ride overnight.
- Port Aventura, Spain’s most popular amusement park, treats and reuses its wastewater for irrigation, and while its sloping terrain may seem like an aesthetic feature, it’s used to channel stormwater into its Tutuki Splash and Silver River rides. The park uses tertiary treatment to purify stormwater and has a separate pipe system for it.
Water and Wastewater Treatment on Any Scale
Virtually any size park can embrace water-friendly technology with modular treatment options. To bypass the complexities of building costly treatment systems, Fluence’s plug-and-play modular solutions deliver water purification and wastewater reuse in scalable, containerized plants. They’re packaged in standard shipping containers for quick deployment, and they can ship with custom paint jobs to match scenery or architecture.
- Fluence’s NIROBOX™ reverse-osmosis plants can treat stormwater or seawater to any quality target.
- Fluence’s Aspiral™ wastewater treatment plants produce water that’s ready for reuse in nonpotable applications, and their low-odor, low-noise operation and small footprint make them ideal for tourist destinations where aesthetics are critical.
With our Water Management Services, we can deliver plants with no upfront costs. We can also monitor and operate the systems, so park management remains free to focus on other aspects of the visitor experience. If you have the vision, Fluence has the experience and the catalog of equipment to make it a reality. Contact our experts to determine which solutions are best for your water needs.