Glasweigan sewer pipes: unlikely energy saviour?

The heat hidden in sewer waste water could be used to warm Glasgow through the winter. That’s according to a Scottish Renewables report released today, which suggests the “enormous scale” […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The heat hidden in sewer waste water could be used to warm Glasgow through the winter.

That’s according to a Scottish Renewables report released today, which suggests the “enormous scale” of energy in the water could heat the city for more than four months each year.

Around 921 million litres of sewage are flushed down the nation’s toilets and plugholes every day, enough to fill 360 Olympic swimming pools.

The report says capturing the warmth contained within could prevent more than 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere annually.

It adds this could have a significant effect on green efforts, as reducing carbon emitted by the heat sector is ‘vital’ to tackling climate change.

Donald MacBrayne, Business Development Manager with Scottish Water Horizons, said: “Water that is flushed down the drain from homes and businesses represents a significant source of thermal energy.

“Usually, this heat is lost during the treatment process and when treated effluent is returned to the environment. By tapping into this resource using heat recovery technology we can provide a sustainable heating solution which brings both cost, carbon and wider environmental benefits.”

A car manufacturer and water services company have partnered to turn wastewater into sustainable biofuel.