I was interested to hear the other day about the plan by the water industry to be carbon neutral by 2030. Quick enough? Only time will tell.
So it got me thinking; ‘how much CO2 is produced when making a gallon of water?’ In 2007 the Guardian reported that, to produce a litre of water takes the equivalent of 0.298 grams of CO2. Is that bad? If you consider taking a very full bath each day for a year then it would cost 15 kg of CO2. That would have been the equivalent of driving a 2007 car 80 kilometres. That is very 2007 and we know that was when cars were very much more inefficient, CO2 wise, than the modern equivalent, unless it is a ‘gas guzzler’.
Does that make sense? I am not so sure and I do not like using statistics that are that old. Unfortunately I cannot find any up to date information on the energy cost to create potable water. I was surprised that it was that much! Being ‘off gridders ‘ we know that small sewage treatment systems require just a pump to produce water that is fit to drink (not recommended). Plenty of drinkable stuff that comes out of the tap although it is harder than Scrooges heart.
However with a small sewage system your local sludge extractors will remove your residue for a payment. I am not sure what they do with the sludge but I assume it goes to a sewage treatment site. The difference between us and the Water Companies is that you can wave goodbye to your sludge when the environmental waste companies suck it out of your tank. The water companies have absolutely masses of sludge and it contains some pretty nasty stuff thrown down the toilet/sinks by on gridders.
Most of the disposal issue is the reduction in the weight of sewage sludge. A lot of the weight of sludge is the water content. Once the water content had been reduced to a particular level it can be burnt. A lot of energy is used in the reduction of the water in the sludge until it is dry enough to burn. Currently the energy produced from the incineration of the sludge residue is not enough to remove the water from the next lot of sludge etc. In certain countries the sludge is used by the cement industry furnaces in the creation of cement which we know produces 8% or the worlds emissions.
So I look forward to a CO2 free water industry but they do also need to get their act together and fix leaks quicker than they do now.