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Austrian firm taps heat from all that hot water down the drain

Published on Jun 22, 2014 4:30 PM
The director of the municipal services of Amstetten Robert Simmer is pictured in front of a heat pump on May 7, 2014 in Amstetten, Austria. A pilot project in the town of Amstetten by a local utility company is recycling heat energy from the sewer, helping the company dispense with gas entirely and reduce its carbon footprint. -- PHOTO: AFP

AMSTETTEN, Austria (AFP) - Vast amounts of hot water from household appliances, businesses and factories gurgle down the drain every day, wasting not only H2O but also another precious resource: heat energy.

Not, however, in the Austrian town of Amstetten, where a pilot project by the local utility company is "recycling" this energy from a place where normally few dare to tread - the sewer.

This it uses to heat 4,000 square metres of buildings, or cool them in summer, allowing it to dispense entirely with gas and reduce its carbon footprint.

"Almost every week we get a visit from a different delegation coming to look," Mr Robert Simmer, the enthusiastic boss of Stadtwerke Amstetten, told AFP as he showed off the project.

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