Alameda Sun: Environmentalist Proposes Safer Discharge Route, May 30, 2018


Nautilus Data Technologies is proposing to convert Building 530, located at 120 West Oriskany Ave. at Alameda Point, into a data storage facility. This facility would consist of racks of computer servers that heat up and that Nautilus needs to keep cool. Nautilus has chosen to use water from San Francisco Bay to accomplish this because water cooling is a cheaper alternative than traditional air- conditioning.

In order to water-cool the racks at the facility, Nautilus must draw 10,000 gallons of water a minute from San Francisco Bay. Because of its location at Alameda Point, the company will draw this water from beneath nearby Pier 2 where the USS Hornet is moored.

Once that water has done its job cooling the racks, Nautilus plans to discharge it into a 5-foot diameter pipe. This pipe would then discharge water into the Bay at the same rate it drew the water in.

This means that Nautilus would pump 600,000 gallons of its used water back into San Francisco Bay every hour. That adds up to 14.4 million gallons a day. Environmental activist Richard Bangert fears that the discharge from cooling Nautilus’s racks could increase water temperature around the discharge area by as much as 4 degrees. Nautilus counters that the increase in the water temperature would be negligible.