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Wastewater Sector Emits Nearly Twice As Much Methane As Previously Thought

Updated: Jul 4

February 28, 2023 |

Photo Credit: Pok Rie (On Pexels)

Municipal wastewater treatment plants emit nearly double the amount of methane into the atmosphere than scientists previously believed, according to new research from Princeton University. And since methane warms the planet over 80 times more powerfully than carbon dioxide over 20 years, that could be a big problem.

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NJ SEED: Releases of methane into the atmosphere from wastewater treatment plants and from the more than one million miles of sewer lines in the US are likely contributing significantly to atmospheric warming. The opportunity exists to improve monitoring, refine the quality and security of anaerobic digesters and other treatment equipment, and developing the means to harness the energy of methane to produce positive results for both the environment and the economy.

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