How can my waste be used for renewable energy?
We often take our drainage systems for granted. We turn on the tap and expect clean water to come out, forgetting that our drains need care and maintenance in order to work properly. Sewage systems are in place for more than just taking our waste away. New plans have been set to use our waste in making renewable energy. It sounds like a strange idea, but it is hugely beneficial both economically and environmentally.
When wastewater is taken away from our homes to the public sewerage systems, it makes its way to settlement tanks. The water is left in the tank to sit motionless, allowing any solid waste to sink to the bottom of the tank, where it is removed using scrapers. This waste is used for many things including fertilisers, compost, and anaerobic digestion.
Anaerobic digestion is a process where microorganisms break down the waste and biodegradable material without using any oxygen. This process results in the production of different types of biogas, predominantly methane and carbon dioxide. These biogases are then made into electrical and thermal energy, allowing them to be used as renewable energy sources. These energy sources mean we don’t have to use fossil fuels like coal and oil to produce energy, which is incredibly valuable as we are running out of these materials.
Anaerobic is hugely beneficial for many reasons. The entire process requires far less energy and chemicals than most non-renewable sources of energy, and the cost of handling the sludge produced in the settlement tanks is less than that of aerobic digestion methods.
It is very important that we understand our role in the process of creating renewable energy. In order to keep the cycle going, we must maintain our drains to a high quality condition. When your drains become blocked it prevents the waste from being taken away from our homes, meaning it is stopped from being used in the process of creating renewable energy.
One of the best ways to regularly maintain your drains is to call out a professional drain engineer to complete a CCTV drain survey. Drain surveys are the perfect way to find out if there are any underlying problems in your drains that have not yet come to your attention. CCTV drain surveys also locate any potential risks for trouble, meaning that you can nip it in the bud before it begins to cause chaos on your property. It is also very important to ensure that you are taking proper care of your drains by correctly disposing of all waste. Food waste such as oily or greasy substances must be thrown away in the bin, as they will stick to the walls of the pipe and cause an obstruction. Nappies, baby wipes, and sanitary items are also common causes for blockages and must be disposed of properly, as they cannot break down fast enough to be washed away down the toilet smoothly. Over time, if these items are continually flushed away incorrectly, they can cause some serious damage to your drains
We all have an important role to play in the cycle of waste and energy. The important thing to know is that a problem with your drains will never go away on its own so you must act quickly as soon as you notice something’s wrong. There are many signs to be aware of in case you have a blockage. If you notice that there is a bad smell coming from your drains, or if they’re making an unfamiliar sound, then it is likely that you have a blockage on your hands. You should also keep an eye out for how quickly the water drains, as this is the number one indicator for how big the blockage might be.