Tag Archives: DC Water

Making Power From Sewage


DC Water’s innovative $500 million project at the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant, will implement Norway’s Cambi thermal hydrolysis process doubling digester throughput and making the treatment plant more economically viable.

For the citizens of the District and for some Virginians and Marylanders— 2.2 million of them — will get a monthly bill for the privilege of sending their thoroughly digested nutritional intake to the plant in Southeast Washington that will use it to generate electricity.

By converting poop to power, DC Water will require fewer digesters, cut greenhouse gases, produce more energy, create higher quality bio-solids, cut its electricity bill by about one third, and reduce by half the cost of trucking treated waste elsewhere.  DC Water is posed to save millions of dollars annually.

“This could be a game changer for energy,” said George Hawkins, an environmentalist who became general manager of DC Water. “If we could turn every enriched-water facility in the United States into a power plant, it would become one of the largest sectors of clean energy that, at the moment, is relatively untapped.”

The Cambi creates methane to generate electric power. The methane created will be used to fire three jet turbine engines that create electricity.  The process of creating it eats up 3 megawatts and the remaining 10 megawatts will be used up by operations at Blue Plains.

This project was not mandated by a federal court order.  D.C. Water’s board decided it was a worthwhile investment of ratepayers’ money at the tune of $500 million dollars because of a savings of electrical costs of about $10 million a year; lowering the cost of hauling away treated waste; and a reduction by one third in the plant’s carbon footprint.

Exactly the movement we at BioHitech America were hoping for.