One Water in action: Travis County Courthouse

This summer, Travis County broke ground on the new Civil and Family Court Building. The 435,000 square foot facility is located at 1700 Guadalupe Street and sits on 1.46-acres.  It is located in the northern part of downtown which is rapidly being re-developed.

Travis County leadership realized early that construction of this new facility was a unique opportunity to deploy One Water strategies for the good of the community.  Commissioner Brigid Shea worked closely with the City of Austin’s Water Forward Task Force, Austin Water, and the County’s engineering team to develop a facility that will capture much of its water supply onsite thereby substantially reducing the need from Austin’s potable water supply. It was important to the Travis County Commissioners Court that the courthouse serve as an example of facilities that help reduce the burden on community water supply needs.

The courthouse is designed to capture and store rainfall and air conditioning condensate.  Captured water will be stored in tanks and then, with proper filtering and cleaning, will be used for non-potable purposes. The building will have two sets of plumbing to ensure separate management of potable and non-potable water.

One plumbing system will deliver water for non-potable uses, such as toilet flushing, irrigation and make-up water for the air conditioning system. The other plumbing system will continue to deliver high quality potable water to drinking water fountains and sinks. The facility will also capture stormwater and use rain gardens and other landscaping to hold and beneficially use water onsite.

Read more from Texas Living Waters here.