Foxconn has pledged to spend $30 million on a water recycling system at its Mount Pleasant facility that would significantly cut down water use.


The zero liquid discharge system would reduce water intake at the manufacturing plant from an estimated 6 million gallons per day to 2.5 million gallons per day, according to a release from the company.


This comes after environmental groups recently challenged the Department of Natural Resources’ decision to allow Racine to divert up to 7 million gallons of water per day from Lake Michigan for Foxconn and surrounding development.


The ZLD system would distill wastewater that comes from the process of manufacturing LCD screens, so it can be reintroduced into the production system and reused. Domestic wastewater and water that evaporates from cooling systems won’t be recycled.


In the system, industrial liquid waste would be pre-treated and evaporated, to turn the dissolved solids in the mixture into crystals. The crystallized waste is then removed, and evaporated water is condensed and reintroduced.


Foxconn says the system will keep practically all manufacturing process wastewater from going back into Lake Michigan. It’s expected to be up and running by the time the manufacturing plant is built.

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