Did you know some believe sewers may be at the forefront of new technology helping the world go green? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, as laid out in this article, it is estimated Americans wash 350 billion kilowatt-hours of energy down the drain every year. That is enough to power about 30 million U.S. homes. How is this possible? Sewer steam! The city of Denver is actually at the forefront of this sewer heat-recovery project as we have the largest project in all of North America. As is pointed out in the article linked above, a $1 billion remodel to the National Western Complex will take place over the next few years. It is the plan to heat and cool the entire complex from the heat from sewer pipes below the 250-acre campus. It is thought that builders may seek to be near big pieces of sewer infrastructure in the future so as to utilize this technology to save energy costs and avoid greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the article, “The key to the trick is a massive heat pump, which will be housed in a central plant on the campus. The device works like a reversible air conditioning unit. In the winter, it will transfer energy from the sewage into a clean water loop connecting the buildings, adding heat to indoor spaces. The process can then be flipped to keep things cool in the summer. Since the wastewater is never exposed, future occupants won’t get hit with a wave of sewer stink.” For more information, check out this Metro Wastewater brochure.
As a company who specializes in underground water and sewer service, this is an exciting development. It is great to be in an industry that could very well lead the way to lower energy costs and fewer harmful emissions in the future. Being a Denver company who regularly works with Denver Water, we are proud to be part of a city that is advancing technology in this area and are excited to continue our growth to better meet these needs. If you have underground water and sewer needs (broken sewer line, lead water line, etc.), contact us today!