Project #4454, Electricity Use and Management in the Municipal
Water Supply and Wastewater Industries (EPRI 2013), cofunded by
WRF and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), describes
how electricity is currently used and how it can be managed more
efficiently in the public water supply and municipal wastewater
treatment industries. The report provides daily energy use values
for typical water and wastewater unit processes and describes
approaches for calculating unit process values to develop an
expected total daily energy use for a facility. The study provides
energy intensity values for various unit processes based on calculations of what is commonly seen in water and wastewater
This project was funded to update the 1996 WRF/EPRI co-
funded research project, Water and Wastewater Industries:
Characteristics and Energy Management Opportunities. The widely
referenced 1996 report describes how electricity is used and can
be managed efficiently in the water sector. The driver for that
project was the recognition of the inextricable link between water
and energy. The report was meant to be used by electric utility
planning staff and water and wastewater treatment plant man-
agement as a reference to understand energy consumption in the
water industry. The drivers and needs have only become stronger,
thus prompting the revised version of the original research.
THE NEW REPOR T presents estimates of energy intensity for raw
water pumping and all unit processes associated with drinking
water treatment as a function of average flow rate. Unit processes include rapid mixing, flocculation, sedimentation, chemical feed systems, microfiltration, ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis,
and ozone disinfection, among others. The flow rates investigated are 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 250 million gallons per day
(MGD). Tables containing these values allow for easy reference
to allow plant personnel to estimate composite energy use for
hypothetical plants by aggregating appropriate combinations
of unit processes.
Using this data, electric energy intensity values for three types
of systems—surface water, groundwater, and desalination—were
developed. The resulting energy intensities were mapped to
detailed inventory data for existing public water systems from
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U. S.
Geological Survey to approximate total electricity use by the U. S.
The Water Research Foundation ( WRF) continues to provide resources for water utilities to move forward in their efforts to reduce their energy use and cost associated with energy.
for Drinking Water