Use waste heat

Description: Recover/Productively Use Waste Heat – Many water and wastewater treatment facilities, including the Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) in Riverside County, CA, implement heat recovery to reduce overall energy use. Waste heat recovered from fuel cells is used to heat anaerobic digesters. The digesters would otherwise be heated using pipeline natural gas or methane gas from the digesters. Waste heat is also recovered from microturbines at the EMWD’s headquarters. The microturbines provide electricity to the building while waste heat is used to drive an absorption chiller to provide cooling to the building.

Also see “Power Generation from Renewable Sources,” in the Water Sector of this website toolbox.

Goal: Use waste heat to increase energy efficiency (reduce energy use) in water agency operations

Measurement: Energy use decreased (either Kilowatt-hours or Therms)

Time to Implement:


Energy Efficiency Programs – Eastern Municipal Water District

Additional Information:

Heat Recovery and Electricity Generation from Fuel Cells in Several California Water/Wastewater Plants

Making the Most of Wastewater

Fuel Cells at Wastewater Treatment Plants – pages 11 to 13

Contact Info:

Sectors(s) Water
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Date First Adopted Varies
Last Updated November 12, 2021
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