SA Water’s largest wastewater treatment plant at Bolivar is now 87 per cent energy self-sufficient, due to the use of biogas in energy production.
SA Water’s Chief Executive, Roch Cheroux, said the self-sufficiency had been achieved through an improvement in biogas power generation – a by-product of the sewage treatment process – from the Bolivar plant.
The renewable electricity generated is enough to power 4000 houses a year.
“Bolivar is our largest plant and treats around 150 million litres of sewage a day, so it’s important we are managing its energy use efficiently,” Mr Cheroux said.
“This sustained focus on generating renewable energy is reducing our carbon footprint, improving operational efficiencies, contributing to a healthier environment and ultimately helping with our customers’ cost of living.”
SA Water is also aiming to improve energy efficiency across its other sites.
“At the Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant, we have increased renewable energy self-sufficiency from 55 per cent to over 80 per cent in the past five years,” Mr Cheroux said.
“One of the ways we achieved this was adding high strength, quality organic waste products from industry to the biogas production process, that would’ve otherwise gone to landfill.
“Since 2013-14, our innovative energy management program has also helped reduce carbon emissions by 13,000 tonnes per year across our wastewater treatment sites.
“As one of the state’s largest electricity users, it’s important to manage our energy efficiently and identify opportunities that allow us to enhance our sustainability.
“We will continue to invest in more opportunities to generate renewable energy from our water and sewerage operations, benefiting the environment and our customers.”
In recognition of minimising its carbon footprint, SA Water was recently named a finalist in the Premier’s 2016 Climate Change Council SA Climate Leaders Awards.