The Portsmouth Water System’s new Madbury Water Treatment Plant has officially received the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification, City Manager John Bohenko announced Friday, and is expected to produce energy savings exceeding 24 percent or $35,000 annually.

The $20 million plant went online last August after eight years of planning, testing, design and construction to replace a 50-year-old facility at the same location. The new energy-efficient plant provides drinking water to customers in Portsmouth, Newington, New Castle, and parts of Rye, Greenland, Madbury, Dover and Durham.

“We are extremely pleased to receive this national acknowledgment of the City of Portsmouth’s continuing commitment to sustainability and to be the State’s first water treatment plant to receive this honor,” Bohenko said. “Although LEED certification requires a new building to achieve 10 percent energy savings over a baseline design, we project the plant’s savings could be more than 24 percent, saving ratepayers $35,000 per year.

“This proves once again that sustainable practices benefit not only the environment, but also the city’s bottom line and our citizens,” he said.

The U.S. Green Building Council uses well-founded scientific standards to reward LEED efforts in six areas of building: sustainable site development, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor air quality and innovation in the green building design process.