To meet their ever increasing renewable energy targets and utilise a valuable existing source, water companies should embrace the undoubted hydropower potential in sewage outfalls

So say Ham Baker, who can now offer a new Screw Generator system made with a low-cost reinforced plastic screw for existing outfalls (1m to 4m head) with flow rates of up to 900 litres per second and the potential to generate up to 30 kW.

“It is time for the UK water companies to stop thinking of hydropower as some sort of old fashioned exclusive for areas with the right topography and large water capacities,” said Ian Goddard, Ham Baker’s Business Development Director.

“Unlike other forms of renewable energy”, he added, “there are no drawn out complications with planning or FITs (Feed-in Tariffs).  Instead, in most cases, we’re offering an almost plug-in-and-play unit with a full control system that can be put into a sewage channel with minimal civils”.

Goddard claims that with such a huge number of sewage outfalls in the UK, of which around 75% would meet the criteria, the low cost of the plastic screw compared to metal (including reduced transport and installation), presents a golden opportunity for UK water companies.

He continued: “Reinforced plastic screw generators are game-changers in their own right. So when one brings in the almost unused existing flow resource of sewage outfalls, those water companies currently without a dedicated hydropower person may soon have to start thinking about appointing one”.