The semiconductor industry was once a bane to environmentalists as it laid claim to many Superfund sites in decades past, however the sector has come a long way since which is evident at an Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) plant in the Arizona desert. The facility, which is Chandler, Arizona’s largest employer with 11,000 workers, cleans millions of gallons of water daily before piping it back into an underground aquifer.
The system allows for Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) to greatly reduce their demand on an already strained water supply. At the same time, it helps to regenerate some of that supply by placing about 2 million gallons of clean water back into the aquifer everyday. Currently, the process enables the reclamation of 60 percent of water used, but plans for upgrades will increase that efficiency.
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As of July, 5.2 billion gallons had been sent from the plant to the aquifer for Chandler’s use, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) said. The company is spending more than $200 million to upgrade and expand the reverse-osmosis and water-reclamation facilities to handle more manufacturing at the plant. Intel and the city plan to increase the water recovery rate at the facilities to 90 percent.
The video below from Bloomberg gives a brief overview of the process.