Wastewater treatment

Energy efficient waste water treatment plant

There are plenty of opportunities for wastewater treatment facility operators to slash energy use.  

A detailed look at your operations can identify savings through optimising or updating existing equipment, such as pump motors and aeration equipment. Quick returns can be achieved through simple actions like upgrading lighting.    

Top energy-saving tips


  • A quick win can be achieved by investing in the latest lighting technology. This can have a short pay back period because of the lower energy consumption and reduced maintenance. 
  • Adding sensors and timers will stop you wasting money lighting areas that are not being used. 

Replacing fluorescent lighting with LEDs can achieve energy savings of up to 70 per cent.


Aerators often operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Blowers and diffusers should be well maintained to improve efficiency. Consider replacing older equipment, technological advances often mean potential running cost savings justify early replacement.

Cut energy consumption by up to 20 per cent by optimising aeration systems.  


Water pumping often accounts for the largest proportion of energy use. Check that motors are the right size for the job and are not using more energy than needed. Variable speed drives (VSDs) make a big difference to energy consumption by taking advantage of off-peak load periods.    

Reducing motor speeds by 20 per cent can reduce operating costs by up to 50 per cent.   


Submeters are a cost effective way to identify thousands of dollars in energy savings opportunities. They can provide you with sophisticated data about your site’s energy use that a standard utility meter cannot. Submeters can reveal operational inefficiencies such as identifying equipment that is running unnecessarily. This data can help you to compare and benchmark usage across similar facilities and over time.

How can we help?

Energy experts

We have a team of professionals dedicated to helping you save energy and cut your power bills.  Understanding your current situation through an energy audit is often the first step.  We can connect you with a local energy efficiency expert who knows your industry, is up-to-date with the latest technologies and can identify your biggest savings.

Training courses

Our regular training courses can help you make your business more energy efficient and reduce costs.

Online tools and resources

Our energy-efficient lighting tool and guide can help you choose the right lighting for your business.   

Burwood Beach Wastewater Treatment Works worked with Hunter Water to achieve significant energy savings.        

Visit the Hunter Water website

Sydney Water worked with Energy Efficiency Exchange to implement energy efficiency initiatives across a range of wastewater treatment works.

Visit the Energy Efficiency Exchange website

'Energy Efficiency in Water and Wastewater Facilities', US' Environmental Protection Agency, gives an overview into planning and implementing projects, including tips and explanations of how savings were made by facilities across the nation.  

Download the Wastewater Guide

'Energy Efficiency Strategies of Municipal Wastewater Treatment Facilities, published by the US Government’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, is based on a case study of a Colorado treatment plant.

Download case study

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Page last updated: 12 June 2018