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A New Role for Wastewater Treatment Facilities in the 21st Century

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The primary responsibilities of wastewater treatment facilities are expanding from the current objectives of protecting human health and the aquatic environment to include resource recovery, i.e., extracting valuable resources from the waste material treated. This trend is being driven by natural resource scarcity, energy costs, and climate change. This paper explores a number of areas where wastewater treatment facilities may recycle or reuse waste materials such as wasteto- energy, water recycling, and biosolids reuse, and examples are provided from the East Bay Municipal Utility District of Oakland, California. In addition to saving operating costs, these practices may provide new sources of revenue, including those from renewable energy credits (RECs) and greenhouse gas (GHG) offsets. The new role for wastewater treatment facilities is becoming a resource provider, or “green factory” that recovers valuable resources from waste material for reuse.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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