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Managing Energy Costs in Wastewater Treatment Plants

Managing Energy Costs in Wastewater Treatment Plants

There are approximately 17,000 municipal wastewater treatment facilities in the US. Wastewater and municipal drinking water treatment systems account for about 3 percent of total US energy consumption and approximately 35 percent of the total energy consumed by municipalities.

A breakdown of electricity consumption at a typical municipal activated-sludge wastewater treatment facility is shown in Figure 1. Electricity accounts for 90 to 95 percent of the total energy consumed by these facilities; the remainder is fuel (fuel oil or natural gas) used for back-up electricity generation or natural gas used to heat buildings.

Average energy use data

Figure 1: Electricity consumption by end use
Aeration accounts for more than 50 percent of wastewater treatment plant electricity consumption.
Pie chart showing percentages of energy consumed by end use
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