Waste water treatment facilities do their bit to protect climate
Cities and municipalities can save a great deal of energy on waste water treatment
The more than 10,000 waste water treatment plants in Germany’s cities and municipalities consume a lot of energy, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the power consumption of all public utilities. These facilities consume nearly 4,400 gigawatt hours of electricity per year, which corresponds to the generation capacity of a modern coal power plant, and they emit some 3 million tonnes of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) annually. This volume of emissions could be reduced by one third without making any major additional investments. What looks especially promising for municipalities seeking to protect the climate is energy-saving aeration of the activation basin and generation of energy from the sludge biogases in cogeneration plants. A new research project headed by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) demonstrates which measures at waste water treatment facilities can benefit the climate-all without negative impact on purification capacity and operational safety.