Sewage Treatment uses 1.5% of the US electrical grid, same as data center electricity

Here is a piece of trivia for data center geeks.  What other industry consumes the same amount of electricity as data centers?  Sewage treatment.

In the U.S., for example, sewage treatment plants use about 1.5 percent of the nation's electrical energy to treat 12.5 trillion gallons of wastewater a year. According to Heidrich and colleagues' calculations, one gallon of wastewater contains enough energy to power a 100-watt light bulb for five minutes.

This article was created to make the point that there is actually 20% more energy in waste waste than previously calculated.

Sewage holds untapped power

James Cheng /

At a sewage treatment plant in Renton, Wash., biodegradable solid waste powers a 1-megawatt fuel cell. A new study suggests that wastewater contains 20 percent more energy-rich compounds than previously thought.

John Roach writes:Wastewater streaming out of our households contains nearly 20 percent more potential energy than previously believed, a new study has found.

If confirmed, the results could spur efforts to extract methane, hydrogen and other fuels from this largely untapped resource.

I am sure at some point we’ll hear about a waste water powered data center.  Which would be a methane powered data center.