Our Resource Recovery Opportunities
At the CRD, we will seek to minimize the total cost to taxpayers. We will do this by maximizing economic and financial benefits through the reuse of resources and generation of offsetting revenue. Our goals are the sustainable management of water, stormwater and solid waste, and their integration with energy planning and 'smart' urban growth.
How will we accomplish resource recovery?
Wastewater is not a waste product. It is a resource containing rejected energy from homes, businesses, institutions and factories; and it contains reclaimable water for non-potable use. This is the premise that is driving the evaluation of resource recovery as a crucial element in developing an appropriate distributed wastewater system.
Conceptual planning for resource recovery strategies will continue through Spring 2009, to provide the CRD with all the data needed for responsible decision-making. A series of workshops with elected officials is also taking place through Spring 2009. Throughout Spring and Summer 2009 the CRD will adopt a selected wastewater management strategy, with a final amendment to the Core Area Liquid Waste Management Plan due by December 31, 2009.
When approaching resource recovery, the CRD is taking into consideration the following:
- Hydro power recovery
- Heat recovery from treated effluent
- Management of wastewater flows to reduce energy consumption
- Energy and resource potential from organic residuals, including biogas or electrical power generation
- Aiming toward carbon neutrality in greenhouse gas emissions
- Planning for technologies which will have the greatest future flexibility
Many of these options are explored below, and in the following pages.
Wastewater Flow Energy & Heat Recovery
Flow energy management and recovery refers to the management of wastewater flows within the collection system, to reduce energy consumption. Kinetic energy may also be recoverable from wastewater, and its energy harvested as it flows through our local pipes on its way to the ocean.
The CRD investigated the possibility of using reclaimed water for irrigation and toilet flushing. Groundwater aquifer recharges and stream flow augmentation scenarios were also explored.
There is tremendous potential to recover heat energy from both raw wastewater and from the wastewater effluent. This heat energy can be used in a variety of ways, including a residential heat source or as an energy source for the disposal or reuse of wastewater biosolids.
Organic Residuals Energy & Resource Recovery
The CRD is investigating the potential energy available in wastewater solids and other organic waste streams, and how this energy could be captured at treatment facility sites and used, either at the sites proper, or offsite. Available technologies could include biogas generation or co-generation of electrical power.