Get the latest weekly fluid news direct to your inbox.

Sign up for our free newsletter now.

Sewage-powered domestic heating scheme planned

news item image
Excess heat recovered from a sewage treatment plant process could be used to power more than 2,000 homes.
The scheme, thanks to a new carbon-cutting partnership between Thames Water and Kingston Council, is the first of its kind in England and has the potential to provide clean, green heating to new homes.
The project is expected to be a model for similar schemes elsewhere in the UK, reducing millions of tonnes of carbon emissions.
The Government and Greater London Authority have funded feasibility studies and design work for the project over the last two years, and an application has been made to the Government for capital funding.
Under the plans, heat recovered from the final effluent of the sewage treatment process at the Hogsmill will be captured before water is returned to the river, concentrated and supplied to local buildings from a state-of-the-art energy centre to be built on site.
If successful, up to seven gigawatt hours of low carbon heat per year could be supplied via a sealed network of pipes to the district heating system at the new Cambridge Road Estate.
Sarah Bentley, Thames Water’s chief executive officer, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Kingston Council, offering low carbon energy to a new housing development near to our works. Renewable heat from our sewer network is a fantastic resource, so it’s vital we are a leading player in energy transition and unlock the full potential of ‘poo power’.
“Protecting and enhancing the environment is extremely important to us, and we have committed to doing all we can to find new and innovative ways to achieve our net zero ambitions over the next 10 years. We’re already self-generating substantial amounts of renewable energy across our vast estate, meeting around a quarter of our total electricity needs, and are confident innovative district heating schemes like this will offer many more opportunities to ensure we leave our planet in a better place for future generations.”
The renewable heat project at Hogsmill is estimated to save 105 kilo tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (ktCO 2e) emissions over 30 years – the equivalent of 157,000 return flights from London to New York or more than 15,000 car journeys around the world – and is the single largest carbon reduction scheme in Kingston. Future phases of the district heat network are planned to save additional emissions and help Kingston Council achieve its target of being carbon neutral by 2038.
Along with the heat transfer scheme, Thames Water is exploring other green energy projects at its Hogsmill site, which serves 380,000 customers, including solar panels and electric vehicle charging points.