Effluent would be used to cool power plants in an innovative Maryland project

Charles County, Md., is poised to be the first area in the U.S. to use treated sewage to cool down power-plant towers. A proverbial “win-win” scheme, the proposal would conserve groundwater, which is usually used for power-plant cooling, and would cut down on the amount of sewage being dumped into the Potomac River, which feeds into the beleaguered Chesapeake Bay. Power companies also like the concept because they can diffuse opposition to power plants if those plants will use less water. “This is a process that is going to be very quickly imitated around the country,” predicted state Sen. Thomas M. Middleton (D). “We need to spread that sh*t around.” OK, he didn’t say that last bit, but he should have.

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