You are likely familiar with the idea of using so-called ‘grey’ water that comes from showers, sinks and laundry to water lawns and for other non-drinking purposes. But water flowing down the drains from your tub, kitchen sink and washing machine has another property that can be harvested - heat!
The city of Vancouver, Canada, first began using energy harnessed from grey water and sewage to lessen heating energy requirements at the Athletes Village constructed for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Now the city is adding capacity to the program with a view “to expand to serve nearly two million square metres of new development in Southeast False Creek, Mount Pleasant, the False Creek Flats, and Northeast False Creek” (Source). The False Creek Neighbourhood Energy Utility (NEU) “targets 70% of its energy supply to come from renewable energy sources. The utility is self-funded, simultaneously providing a return on investment to City taxpayers and affordable rates to customers” (Source).
SHARC Energy, an international company headquartered in British Columbia, Canada, is part of the Vancouver project but has installations all over the world; one of the latest - and largest - is an ambitious project in New York state where their systems will help to reduce energy costs and emissions.
Could your city or town invite a SHARC to swim in its wastewater stream - with positive results?