Indianapolis Public Schools

Indianapolis Public Schools
George Washington Carver Elementary School # 87
K-5, 225 Students, Year-Round Schedule
Indianapolis, IN

Winner: ASHRAE’s 2009 National Technology Award


When School 87 was constructed in 1935, an underground spring was found during excavation of the boiler room that required pumping to avoid flooding. To remove up to 150 gallons per minute of ground water, sump pumps were installed and ran continuously. Power outages disabled the pumps occasionally, which allowed the boiler room to flood causing damage to the boilers and mechanical equipment. The ground water was seen as a significant liability. In 2006, Indianapolis Public Schools adopted a year-round schedule for School 87, which necessitated the need for air conditioning.


The transition to a year-round operation provided the opportunity to design a creative heating and cooling solution.  Working with Tom Durkin, of Durkin & Villalta Partners Engineering, covalen provided a geothermal solution that leveraged the ground water, turning it into an asset. School 87 has the lowest operational cost in the Indianapolis Public School System. Even with the addition of air conditioning and converting to a year-round operation, School 87 realized a 17% reduction in utility costs.


  • Verdetherm Systems heater/chiller
  • 120 ton geothermal heater/chiller
  • Geothermal water storage tank and circulating pump
  • Duplex two-pipe distribution pumps
  • Lead/lag plate and frame heat exchangers
  • Thompson Strainer pre-filters
  • Two 1,400,000 Btu Viessmann standby condensing boilers
  • Control logic
  • Submersible sump pumps and backup engine driven sump pump


  • 17% reduction in utility costs
  • Increased heating & cooling capacity
  • Achieved backup/redundancy
  • Turned water liability into an asset

Brown County Water Utility

Brown County Water Utility
5,300 Customers
500 Miles of Main Pipe
Brown County – Morgantown, IN

Brown County Water Utility serves 5,300 customers in scenic Brown County, Indiana, and parts of Morgan, Johnson, Monroe and Bartholomew counties. The utility was formed in 1964 with the mission of providing quality water at a reasonable price. The utility has supported growth from both new construction and existing home connections, as the area has become a seasonal and retirement destination. In 2007, Brown County Water Utility recognized that it was facing an aging infrastructure that had outlived its useful life, and it began seeking solutions to reduce its maintenance costs and to protect water quality.

Brown County Water Utility obtained a grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, which provided more than $1 million of funding for a $6 million infrastructure upgrade project. After investigating numerous ways to improve water services, Brown County Water Utility decided that increasing storage capacity, softening the water, and implementing a new backwash system would be the best and most cost-effective solution to protecting and improving water quality. The utility contracted with Covalen to purchase Aquastore storage tanks with bolt caps. The Aquastore tanks are known for their “glass fused to steel” construction and low maintenance costs. This decision enabled Brown County Water Utility to avoid $100,000 in maintenance costs through the use of bolt caps, and to save 120,000 gallons of water per month in its backwash operation.

• 1 million gallon Aquastore storage tank
• 250,000 gallon Aquastore backwash tank
• Bolt caps to protect against weather and corrosion, reducing maintenance costs

• Reduced maintenance costs by more than $100,000
• Decreased water usage of backwash operation by 120,000 gallons/month
• Increased storage capacity to 1 million gallons
• Replaced a failing and aging infrastructure