Repurposing Groundwater, Creating Value

As a design/build mechanical contractor serving the southeast, McKenney’s was selected to partner with Greenstone Properties, Balfour Beatty Construction and various other subcontractors to build 14th and Spring, a Class “A+,” 12-story core and shell office building near the heart of Atlanta’s Midtown area. The building is located near a high-end hotel with numerous retail, dining, and cultural amenities. With an eye on high performance, the building owner wanted to integrate sustainable solutions into the mechanical and plumbing systems that would be cost-effective, energy-efficient, and reliable. For this specific project, the structure had five parking levels below grade, extending into the water table at the site. There were two options—either divert the groundwater to the city’s sewer system (resulting in significant annual sewer costs) or collect and repurpose it with a groundwater reclamation system. McKenney’s recommended the latter option to the customer. The team proposed a dewatering reclamation system that would serve the building’s restroom flushing fixtures and provide make-up water to the rooftop cooling tower.

McKenney’s project managers and field teams, having experience with dewatering systems on other recent projects, collaborated with our engineering team to design and build the solution. Together, they created a system that collects groundwater through perforated PVC pipes below the building’s foundation. These pipes are routed to a 12,000-gallon underground storage tank. When demand necessitates, water from the storage tank is pumped to a 1000-gallon day tank. From there, the water is filtered using UV lights and a dedicated filtration skid to remove contaminants from the stream. Lastly, a dedicated booster pump carries the water up through the building to serve the core restrooms and cooling tower.

The dewatering solution delivered what the 14th & Spring building owner wanted—cost-effective solutions with an eye on sustainability. Rather than routing the water through the city’s sewer system, the groundwater reclamation solution has projected annual savings of $120,000 a year and a simple payback of 3.57 years.


  • Repurpose ground water disrupted by 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 expertise of engineering, project managers and field teams with experience designing and building dewatering systems 
  • Created a system that collects groundwater from the building’s footprint 
  • Developed and installed an onsite water filtration and purification system 
  • Installed a dedicated booster pump to transport groundwater to restrooms and the rooftop cooling tower 


  • Supported customer’s sustainability initiative 
  • Projected annual water and sewer savings of $120,000 


Project Name

14th & Spring


Atlanta. GA


General Contractor: Balfour Beatty Construction
Owner: Greenstone Properties
Subcontractor: McKenney's, Inc.