Water Treatment Plants

Champaign Water Treatment Plant

Water treatment facilities are among some of the largest individual energy users in a municipality and represent approximately 3% of total energy consumption in the United States.  This percentage is equivalent to 75 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) and results in 45 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses being pumped into the atmosphere per year. Energy costs in U.S. water treatment facilities amount to $4 billion annually and can account for one third of a municipality's total energy bill. 

There are many steps water facilities can take today to reduce energy consumption and save money.  In wastewater facilities, the majority of energy is used for aeration and pumping, while in drinking water facilities it is for pumping.  Facilities can save large amounts of energy by using variable-frequency drives for pumps, efficient aeration systems, energy-efficient motors, energy-efficient pumps, and by trimming pump impellers.  Treatment plants should also consider adopting cogeneration technologies and electrical load management strategies.  And lastly, like all buildings, water facilities can adopt energy-efficient solutions for lighting, heating, ventilation, and cooling.

The fact sheet linked below explains the most efficient methods a water treatment facility can adopt and addresses some of their pros and cons.