VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The city of Vancouver has announced that it will pursue sewer heat recovery as the heat source for the Olympic Village for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
As the name implies, the sewer heat recovery system will extract
heat from local sewers, which will then be used to heat buildings and domestic
hot water. This innovative method is said to have significant advantages over
conventional gas or electric heat. Sewer heat will generate half the greenhouse
gas emissions of natural gas, with substantially lower levels of air-shed
The city investigated two sustainable heat source options:
biomass and sewer heat.
Biomass energy is created by burning wood residue to produce
heat. The proposal was to burn wood pellets derived from sawdust, which is
normally a waste product at sawmills.
The city had originally investigated biomass technology as an
option due to its very low greenhouse gas emissions, and the fact there were
fewer technical complications than that of the more novel sewer heat system.
However, it was determined that there is insufficient time available in the
project schedule to conduct the necessary public process, which would be
required to obtain an air quality permit. Also, further research into sewer
heat recovery satisfied the city that it could resolve some of the technical
issues associated with this option.
There are only three similar sewer heat recovery facilities
presently operating worldwide. When completed in 2009, Vancouver’s sewer heat
recovery system will be the first use of this technology for district heating
in North America.
May 7, 2007: Vancouver Chooses Sewer Heat Option for Olympic Village Project
May 7, 2007