S.F. city buildings use drinking water for steam heat, flush thousands of gallons into sewer daily

S.F. city buildings use drinking water for steam heat, flush thousands of gallons into sewer daily

[Ed. – But let’s go shame the guy who showers in his home for 10 minutes instead of five.]

“After the water is heated up, the condensated water is then discharged into the sewer system,” said Tyrone Jue of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. “This is drinking water that is being used for the steam loop.”

Water is heated to make steam to heat City Hall and 170 other nearby buildings. Although City Hall reuses most of its portion, a quarter million gallons a day goes wasted. Good drinking water ends up in the sewer. It’s a system that is more than 80 years old. …

The company that runs the heating loop for the 170 buildings, NRG, is looking to start using some non-drinking water from beneath the Powell Street BART station.

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“This station has had a problem with water intrusion since it opened in the mid-1970s…” said Taylor Huckaby of BART.

Now 65 million gallons of ground water under BART goes into the sewer each year. The idea is to get that water, not good for drinking, into the heating system to replace the good drinking stuff.

“There is no infrastructure right now to move the water from the Powell Street pumping station,” Huckaby said.

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