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Sustainable Wastewater Infrastructure of the Future (SWIFt)

Through the Better Buildings Wastewater Infrastructure Accelerator, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will work over three years with state, regional, and local agencies that are engaging with wastewater treatment plants to accelerate a pathway toward a sustainable infrastructure of the future.  SWIFt aims to catalyze the adoption of innovative and best-practice approaches in data management, technologies, and financing for infrastructure improvement.  It leverages a portfolio of work, resources, and partnerships established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and national partners.  TDEC OEP is collaborating with and providing support to DOE and wastewater treatment plant participants. 

TDEC has been at the forefront of improving the energy efficiency of its wastewater systems for several years now.  The Tennessee Water and Wastewater Energy Efficiency Partnership (Partnership), which was founded in 2009 by TDEC, EPA, TVA, Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS), and the University of Memphis, provides technical assistance to wastewater systems to help reduce their utility budget by implementing operational efficiencies and other no to low cost measures. 

The Partnership is currently undergoing its fourth round of assessments and workshops, and is now funded in part by a 2015 DOE State Energy Program Competitive Award  “Advancing Energy Efficiency in Wastewater Facilities and Other Underserved Sectors in Alabama and Tennessee” (Award).  Wastewater treatment plants receiving technical assistance under the Award will also participate in SWIFt. 

Partnership participants use an energy assessment tracking tool created by EPA Region 4.  SWIFt participants will seek to improve the energy efficiency of their participating wastewater treatment plants by at least 30 percent and integrate at least one resource recovery measure.

Fact Sheet on SWIFt

Link: Better Buildings website for SWIFt


Low-to-No Cost Measures

The SWIFt Accelerator developed this Low-to-No Cost Measure List as a reference sheet of various operational, assessment, and installation measures a facility can consider implementing. The measures included on this list have demonstrated average paybacks of 2 years or less.


Ben Bolton

Energy Programs Administrator, TDEC Office of Energy Programs