GM Taps into Water Reuse Project in Texas

GM Taps into Water Reuse Project in Texas

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.@GM taps into water reuse project in Texas #WorldWaterDay

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 11:00am

CAMPAIGN: GM Resource Preservation


World Water Day, an observance led by the United Nations, is a good time to think about all the small changes you can make to reduce your water consumption at home. For example, shutting off the water as you brush your teeth twice a day will save 8 gallons.

We strive to watch every drop at work, too. Consider our Arlington Assembly plant in Texas. At the beginning of the year, our team there successfully turned millions of gallons of wasted water into a resource. This manufacturing facility that builds our SUVs is conserving with a simple fix – one that will save us money and serve as a model for other similar facilities across our network.

Here are the details.

We use ultrapure water to feed our boilers and optimize vehicle paint shop processes. As that water goes through a filtering process to remove nearly all dissolved solids such as calcium, iron and magnesium, some of it is rejected by the filter. This discharge would go through our wastewater treatment plant and then into the city sewer.  But we knew there was a better, more efficient use.

Through working with our suppliers, we developed a collection system for this discharged water. It consists of a 1,000 gallon fiberglass tank with an overflow drain, pumps, control panel and water meter. With this in place, we’re now able to capture, contain, and pump that extra water into our plant’s cooling towers. These towers help with process cooling and conditioning the air in our paint shop.

Within a big assembly plant, the paint shop consumes the most water because of the level of precision involved in the job. The air has to be at a certain temperature with the appropriate level of humidity. The cooling towers help ensure these optimal conditions.

With this new reuse process, our city water consumption and wastewater discharge decreases. Not to mention we’ll save 17.8 million gallons of water as a result. That’s enough to fill the bath tubs in every home in Arlington or New Orleans.

Beyond the environmental benefits, we’ll see a continued net savings of $38,000 per year after our initial investment, which will pay for itself in less than a year and a half.

GM is committed to responsible water management and a 15 percent reduction in water intensity by 2020 based on a 2010 baseline. More information on our global water conservation efforts is available at

Now let’s keep these water-conservation ideas flowing—find and post tips via #WorldWaterDay.