CHP from Sewage? – No says S.W.W.!

Why can’t Truro do what St Erth and Liskeard do? St Erth and Liskeard sewage plants both produce small amounts of biogas which is used to power their sewage operations with sludge residues sold to local farmers as fertiliser.

Truro used to have a similar system but it wore out and SW Water estimate £2-3 million as a replacement cost. In addition, problems of corrosion, waste liquor, odour and the need to import sludge to sustain a viable Combined Heat and Power plant are quoted as reasons why there are no biogas plans “in the foreseeable future”. Surely these problems existed and were overcome by appropriate technology at St Erth and Liskeard?

A sewage biogas plant turns a linear waste stream into a closed loop resource and should be an integral part of any Transition Town. The Pennon Group, owners of SWW make massive profits which should be reinvested in sustainable biogas plants.

If you are one of SWW’s captive customers, write to Mr Alan Burgess, Energy Manager, South West Water, Exeter or email him at

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