Bill Gates samples clean drinking water from sewage treatment plant
Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft has spent time at a mini sewage treatment plant and sampled the clean drinking water from sewage, produced as a by-product from producing electricity from sewage sludge.
This treatment plant has been built as a pilot project by Seattle firm Janicki Bioenergy with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who asked engineers to solve the problem that 2.5 billion people have no access to safe sanitation.
The sewage treatment plant produces electricity and clean drinking water by processing human waste and could improve sanitation for many poor countries.
Sewage sludge is boiled to produce water vapour and solids. The water vapour is cleaned to provide safe drinking water and the solids are burned as fuel to drive a steam generator and produce electricity.
In poor countries without sewage systems, human waste is transported by trucks and dumped into rivers or the sea. This type of plant will provide a safe site for waste to be stored and processed without polluting the environment and ending up in the local water supply.
The plant processes the waste at such high temperatures that there is no air pollution and it meets the emissions requirements set by the US Government.
The system is highly efficient as it produces enough energy to process the next batch of waste.
The next processor to be built will be able to process sewage sludge from 100,000 people and produce 90,000 litres of drinking water each day as well as provide 260kw of electricity.
Bill Gates sampled the water at the plant, and as you can see in the video, is more than pleased with the result.