Benchmarking the energy intensity of small water resource recovery facilities

Steven M. Hanna, Matthew J. Thompson, Mohamed F. Dahab, Robert E. Williams, Bruce I. Dvorak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


To enable small communities to benchmark the energy efficiency of their water resource recovery facilities (also known as wastewater treatment facilities), multiple linear regression models of electric and overall energy intensity (kWh/m3) were created using data from Nebraska and Pennsylvania. Key variables found to be significant include: Facility type, supplemental energy usage for sludge treatment, average flow, percent design flow, climate controlled floor area, effluent NH3-N, and influent CBOD5. The results show that energy use models for small systems differ from those for large facilities and that regulatory changes can affect energy usage. Step changes in the data for facilities that changed operators highlight the importance of operational decisions on energy efficiency for small facilities serving fewer than 10,000 people. Differences were observed between the models of data from specific states. Although these models may not include all factors that account for variability in energy use, they can provide a reference benchmark for small WRRFs. Water Environ. Res., 90, 738 (2018).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)738-747
Number of pages10
JournalWater Environment Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • Benchmarking
  • Electric Intensity
  • Electricity Usage
  • Modeling
  • Small Communities
  • Wastewater Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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