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Your wastewater can be used as renewable energy

Dec 22, 2022

As frigid temperatures sweep across parts of the U.S., indoor heating systems will be working extra hard. Heating buildings is a big part of energy consumption in U.S. cities, but a technology that's relatively new to the United States is helping make that energy consumption more sustainable.

Many of us have heard of wind and solar energy, but wastewater can also be a significant source of renewable energy. Leslie Fangman works for CenTrio, the largest operator of district energy in the U.S. She is part of a project that is taking wastewater from the Denver Metro area to thermally heat and cool commercial buildings.


"Thermally heating and cooling buildings is about 50% of energy consumption in any city, and so doing it more energy efficient and more sustainable is very important to the environment," Fangman said. "Most sanitary sewer lines run very hot, like upwards of over 70 degrees Fahrenheit even in the wintertime. A lot of that is driven because your dishwashers, your washing machines, your hot showers. All of that water that's heated goes down into the sanitary sewer pipes."

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