McKenney’s Provides Sustainable Solutions with Repurposed Groundwater

When the 14th & Spring building in Midtown Atlanta planned to have five below-ground parking deck levels built, they immediately encountered an obstacle—this parking deck would extend into the site’s underground water tank. McKenney’s created a sustainable and cost-effective dewatering system to repurpose the water from this tank and route it through the building. 

The overlap of the parking deck and water table posed a significant problem in the construction of this building. There were two potential paths forward from this issue: the groundwater could be either diverted to the city’s sewer system or repurposed with a reclamation system. At our team’s recommendation, the building owner chose the dewatering reclamation system. This method would be more sustainable by repurposing the groundwater rather than sending it through the sewer system and would save the owner money that would otherwise go towards significant annual sewer costs. The building owner heeded our advice, and McKenney’s got to work. Our field and engineering teams collaborated to design and build a sustainable solution.  


  • Repurpose groundwater disrupted by the underground parking levels 
  • Deliver a reliable, sustainable plumbing and mechanical system 
  • Reduce costs rather than divert water through the city’s sewer system 
  • Route reclaimed water to restroom flushing fixtures and rooftop cooling tower 


  • Leveraged the experience of our project managers, engineers, and field teams in designing and building dewatering systems 
  • Created a sustainable, reliable, and cost-effective system to repurpose the groundwater and route it throughout the building 

This system featured perforated PVC pipes to collect groundwater below the building’s foundation. These pipes are then routed to a 12,000-gallon underground water storage tank and the water within the tanks can then be pumped to a separate 1,000-gallon day tank as needed. From there, UV lights filter the water and a filtration skid removes any contaminants before a booster pump carries it up through the building to serve the core restrooms and the cooling tower.  


This system was the best solution for the owner of the 14th & Spring building. It emphasized sustainability by avoiding having to route the groundwater through the city’s sewer system and it was cost-effective, saving the owner a projected $120,000 per year with a simple payback of 3.57 years.  

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About Kumba McCritty


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Kumba McCritty began at McKenney's in 2011 as a Marketing Specialist. Upon graduating from Fordham University, she has worked in sales, account management and marketing. Kumba enjoys being challenged professionally while also having the opportunity to grow in her position at McKenney’s. This growth has allowed her to become a Proposal Specialist, where she continues to be vital piece of the McKenney’s marketing team.

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