Power of poo to be harnessed in Edmonton

Deephams Sewage Treatment Works to be first Thames Water facility to use new biogas technology

Deephams Sewage Treatment Works, Edmonton (credit Thames Water)
Deephams Sewage Treatment Works, Edmonton (credit Thames Water)

Sewage from a treatment works in Edmonton will be used to create “green biogas” to heat thousands of local homes, Thames Water has announced.

The water company is working with gas distribution network SGN to build a new £7.3million biomethane plant at Deepham Sewage Treatment Works in Pickett’s Lock Lane, using the gas generated at the site to heat 3,500 homes across Enfield borough.

Thames Water claims this will avoid more than 8,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere from traditional heating methods.

Francis Paonessa, a director at Thames Water, said: “We’re delighted to be working with SGN on this opportunity to create clean, green biogas, using waste sludge from the sewage treatment process.

“Installing this new technology means we can give back to our communities by using the leftover gas from our sewage treatment process to heat local homes with renewable energy. It will help in our plans to become a carbon negative business by 2040 with the first milestone: net zero 2030.

“We will always look for innovative new ways to reduce our environmental impact and produce renewable energy, which will not only benefit us but our customers and the environment as a whole.”

SGN’s commercial director Marcus Hunt added: “We want to continue to be at the forefront of providing heat to UK homes and businesses and recognise the renewable energy investments required to ensure the sustainability of our gas network and supporting decarbonisation goals.

“This includes growth in gas-to-grid biomethane projects in partnership with UK water companies. We’re delighted to be collaborating with Thames Water on an eight-year framework to design, construct, operate, finance and maintain biogas processing installations on their wastewater treatment facilities.

“The initial project at Deephams will see the implementation of biogas and upgrading grid entry equipment to enable increased biomethane injection within existing pipeline infrastructure.”

The new plant could also significantly improve air quality around Deephams by reducing the need to burn off excess gas. Work on the plant will begin next month and is expected to be completed in early 2022, with testing taking place until spring next year.

Biogas schemes such as that at Deephams could be rolled out across the region and have the potential to offset 150,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year by 2030, the equivalent of one-fifth of Thames Water’s carbon footprint in 2019/20.