Geothermal Heating System

In 2012, the Fox River Water Reclamation District decided to build a new Administration & Laboratory Building to serve the entire District. The new building was built at the West Plant site. Baxter & Woodman assisted with the design of a geothermal system for the new building. The term “geothermal” has historically meant the use of a ground-coupled heat exchanger, or a source of groundwater as the heat reservoir/heat sink.  However, at the West Plant, the energy resource is a unique use of plant effluent. In the winter, heat is extracted from the effluent to heat the Administration & Laboratory Building. In summer, heat is put into the effluent to cool the building.

In the new Administration Building, we designed a geothermal system that makes use of existing energy resources at the site and employs equipment with a proven successful record of accomplishment:

  • Recovery of heat energy from plant effluent now being discharged into the Fox River.
  • Use of highly efficient package heating/cooling geothermal heat pump equipment.
  • Provide space heating and domestic hot water heating.

In addition, the use of this geothermal system highlights the District as an environmentally conscious organization by reducing CO2 emissions by over 20 metric tons per year!