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Surrey wants to use sewers to make heat

A multi-million project to that end is in the works
Surrey City Hall. (File photo: Lauren Collins)

Who would’ve thought something good can come from a sewer?

Surrey city council approved a $5 million “funding agreement” with BC Hydro on May 6 under the Surrey City Energy’s Sewer Heat Recovery Project as well as two contracts related to a six-megawatt renewable energy plant that will harness waste heat from Metro Vancouver’s regional trunk sewer and generate heat from it.

Scott Neuman, Surrey’s general manager of engineering, recalled in a corporate report to council that last year Surrey approached BC Hydro for funding under the BC Hydro Incentive Fund for Low-Carbon Electrification and received $5 million for design and construction.

“The total capital value of the completed project is estimated to be $70 million, of which the City has received $32.2 million in external funding to date. The project is planned to be completed in2026 and 2027,” Neuman said.

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Council awarded $3,998,975 to Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd. to design the Sewer Heat Recovery Project and set the spending limit at $4,400,000.

It also authorized Neuman to award and execute a consultant construction agreement with Kerr Wood Leidal Associated Ltd. for optional construction services at an estimated fee of $1,910,000. Work will include a sewer tie-in and heat recovery facility at 11010 128 St., and ambient line from 11010 128 St. to 13439 94A Avenue and upgrades to the West Village Energy Centre at 13439 94A Ave.

Coun. Doug Elford expressed enthusiasm for the project.

“I’m never going to pass an opportunity to talk about one of my favourite subjects – sewage,” he chuckled. “This certainly is very encouraging to see this moving forward. It is very innovative, recoverable energy. We have seen systems elsewhere in the region and I’m looking forward to this project moving onboard and also future projects similar to this onboard as well.”

Design work is expected to begin this month and be completed by April 2025, with construction anticipated to be completed in two phases starting this year and ending in the fall of 2027.

About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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