OUR WATER: Goodyear Proving Grounds works to conserve water in tire test area

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Recapture and reuse system keeps 98% of water used

SAN ANGELO, TX – The Goodyear Proving Grounds on Highway 277 recently celebrated 75 years in business by breaking ground on several new projects. One of those is a second vehicle dynamics pad that will expand their testing capabilities.

“Testing dry and wet handling [is something] we do it for all tires,” explained Cameron Nixon, a chief engineer of track testing for the Goodyear Proving Grounds. “We’re doing it for Summer, all season, all terrain, Winter; and when it comes to wet testing we’re looking at things like braking traction and acceleration testing, steering and hydroplane resistance.”

Having a second vehicle dynamics area will allow them to run wet and dry testing simultaneously. The water used in the wet testing does not come from local municipal sources. According to Goodyear officials, it’s actually groundwater collected from within facility boundaries, as well as rain water harvested on-site.

Water’s precious here in West Texas and it’s not lost on anybody here. But we do everything we can to get this water captured, about 98-99% of it…”

Bart Jennings, Operations Manager at the Goodyear Proving Grounds

Explaining the system further, with special emphasis on how the water is recaptured, proving grounds operations manager Bart Jennings said, “the water comes across [the testing area] at a certain level or depth. We take that water […] by the drains behind me and we take that water and it goes back to a drafting pit. From that drafting pit the water is pumped back out onto the test surface over and over again. We pick up some sediment, that’s settled in the drafting pit. So we conserve a lot of the water that we have. Water’s precious here in West Texas and it’s not lost on anybody here. But we do everything we can to get this water captured, about 98-99% of it depending on evaporation and wind days.”

Goodyear officials also said the tests see about 15,000 gallons of water on the test surface at a given time, however the water itself is utilized over and over again and the information gathered from the tests will only benefit consumers.

“So what that system allows us to do is have a precise water depth for consistent testing and also it simulates very well what a consumer would see on a wet road,” added Nixon.

In addition to the new vehicle dynamics area, the proving grounds facility will soon be able to test more and larger earthmover tires.

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