Park Hills Municipal Building, Park Hills , Missouri
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Park Hills, Missouri
The municipal building in Park Hills, Missouri
boasts one of the most unique GeoExchangeK heating
and cooling systems in the United States. The facility
relies on an estimated 70 billion gallons of water held
in flooded lead mines as its heat source and heat sink.
Completed in 1995, it is believed to be the only
building in the United States heated by water from
“To be best of my knowledge, there are no other
communities anywhere doing the same thing,” says
city manager James Link.
using mine water to heat and cool a building is. Credit
The innovative use of this unseen resource
Hughes. A physics major in college, Hughes had
provides several benefits, say city officials and
explored alternative energy sources while working at
engineers at Columbia, Missouri-based Lester and
Oregon State University during the energy crisis of the
Buehler, Inc., the system’s designers:
It makes good use of an overlooked resource.
The flooded mines lie 35 to 435 feet below the
(Before the municipal building was constructed,
surface of the city of Park Hills. Although the water
the mine water was used only for drinking.)
contains high amounts of iron, which must be removed
It provides a nonpolluting source of energy.
leach into the water because its pH is basic (6.0-6.5).
It conserves energy and saves taxpayer dollars.
remains a constant 57EF, making it a reliable source of
It demonstrates how an efficient use of mine water
could spur industrial development in Park Hills,
Located in southeastern Missouri, Park Hills was
especially by companies that require large amounts
formed on January 1, 1994 when four towns