Last week’s announcement that Spirit AeroSystems will use treated wastewater in its aircraft manufacturing process is a big boost for the city’s water conservation efforts. Spirit will pay to design and construct a 2-mile-long pipeline to transport the treated wastewater to its South Oliver plant. Once the system is operational late next year, Spirit’s consumption of the city’s drinking water supply will drop by 70 percent. Based on Spirit’s 2014 usage, that would be a reduction of about 400 million gallons. The plan is a win for Spirit, which expects to lower its water bill, and for Wichita, which will conserve drinking water and be able to sell some of the wastewater it has been discharging into the river. – Phillip Brownlee
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