D.C. Turning Wastewater Into Energy

DC Water is leading the world in a new technology that turns wastewater to energy.

Every day at the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant in southwest D.C., 300 million gallons of water passes through for treatment. After the water is cleaned and treated for drinking water, 1,200 tons of left over sludge are trucked away at a huge expense to DC Water customers.

“Sixty tanker trucks every single day,” DC Water General Manager George Hawkins said.

Now an addition at Blue Plains -- the first thermal hydrolysis facility in North America and the largest in the world – will convert that waste to power. It heats the waste until it combusts, then tiny microorganisms are added to cause a reaction creating methane gas, which is converted into electricity.

The process also creates Class A biosolids – some of the best soil possible for growing.

DC Water hopes to sell they’re super clean fertilizer in the very near future.

The plant will reduce the pollution generated at Blue Plains by one third.

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