As BC's municipalities work to reduce their carbon emissions, municipal wastewater is gaining attention as a potential new source of energy and reclaimed water. Because virtually every populated area has wastewater collection and treatment systems and wastewater temperatures generally range between 10oC and 15oC in the winter and over 20oC in the summer, heat recovery from wastewater is an attractive option for reducing long-term energy costs and displacing fossil fuels as a heat source in homes and businesses.
Wastewater heat recovery requires a large amount of capital investment when compared with conventional energy sources.
Nevertheless, it is possible to realize a payback in less than ten years by reducing natural gas and electricity use. To implement a successful project, several key questions need to be answered: