The Saanich Peninsula wastewater treatment plant (SPWWTP) heat recovery system was commissioned in 2011. The system recovers thermal energy from the treatment plant effluent and supplies hot water to heat the Panorama Recreation Centre (PanRec) pool. The system has been operating efficiently by displacing the need for natural gas to heat the pool, thus significantly reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from PanRec.

Wastewater heat recovery has gained popularity in North America in the last 10 years and attracts attention from around the world as an effective renewable energy solution. The SPWWTP heat recovery system has demonstrated that heat recovery from wastewater is both practical and environmentally sound.

The SPWWTP heat recovery system received awards from both the Union of BC Municipalities (in 2011) for “Best Practices, Honourable Mention” and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (in 2013) for the “Sustainable Community Award” in the Energy Category.

The SPWWTP heat recovery system has gained considerable attention around the world.  Since 2012, over 50 technical, educational and governmental groups have visited the system including delegations from Denmark, Australia, South Africa, across Canada and the USA. Most recently a delegation from China’s Academy of Science visited the facilities in June 2014. This was a technical tour arranged by the Climate Action Secretariat to showcase one of the high profile renewable energy projects that the BC Government wants to share with the world.