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The following is a press release from King County from November 5, 2020.

Commercial property owners and developers have the opportunity to extract and re-purpose heat energy from sewer pipes through the King County Wastewater Treatment Division’s new Sewer Heat Recovery pilot program. King County invites commercial property owners and developers to apply for consideration as potential users.

The hot water that goes down drains every day from homes and businesses and maintains a constant temperature as it travels through sewer pipes to treatment plants is an unused renewable resource. Allowing buildings to tap into King County’s sewer pipes to recover this energy is another step the county is taking to shape resilient and sustainable communities.

The King County Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) is the first utility in Washington and one of the first in the nation to offer commercial property owners and developers an opportunity to recover energy from its sewer pipes for heating or cooling buildings. As part of its Sewer Heat Recovery program, WTD is seeking two building pilot projects. New construction and retrofit projects are eligible.

Applications for program participation must be received by Dec. 18, 2020. Program information and application can be found at

The King County Council recently unanimously approved legislation that authorized WTD to approve sewer heat recovery projects. While fairly common in Europe and parts of Canada, standardized use agreements like this are pioneering in the United States.

“Our new Sewer Heat Recovery program is a great opportunity for us to partner with King County commercial property owners,” said Mark Isaacson, WTD Director. “This technology will lower a connected building’s carbon emissions, and help owners decrease their environmental footprint. Sewer heat recovery can also help owners and developers meet more stringent energy codes and give them a chance to leverage occupancy strategies that could attract tenants, buyers, and potential investors.”

Sewer Heat Recovery program website
Sewer Heat Recovery Frequently Asked Questions

Marie Fiore, 206-247-9260;

About the King County Wastewater Treatment Division
King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division protects public health and enhances the environment by collecting and treating wastewater while recycling valuable resources for the Puget Sound region. The division provides wastewater treatment services to 17 cities, 17 local sewer districts and more than 1.8 million residents across a 420-square-mile area in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.

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