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How to heat Denver’s buildings with sewage. And no, it doesn’t smell.

By District Energy posted 12-21-2022 10:04


The Colorado Sun


As long as humans are around, there’s vast renewable energy to be had from the results of their daily living. 

The National Western Center and Colorado State University’s growing Denver Spur campus are now heated every day by energy that experts in renewables were tired of seeing literally flushed down the drain. In a squeaky-clean building in the shadow of Interstate 70, energy is pulled from one of Denver’s main sewage lines and transferred to clean water pipes shooting out to buildings on the National Western Center campus next door.

It’s the largest sewage heat recovery system in North America, online since April, and an offshoot of the 72-inch sewage main provides 90% of the energy needed to heat and cool local buildings. In winter, the 65- to 70-degree sewage heats water in the exchanger. In summer, the sewage flow cools the exchange water well below ambient air temperature on a 95-degree downtown day. 

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