Thames Water: 'poo flakes could reduce customer bills'

Sewage flakes
Image caption The sewage flakes will reduce Thames Water's operational costs by £300,000

The UK's first 'poo flakes' generated at a Slough sewage works could help bring down customers' water bills, Thames Water says.

The dry flakes are used as fuel for an electricity generator on site in east London which the company says will save £300,000 a year in operational costs.

Thames Water said the more money it saved, the "less steeply" bills would rise in future.

The flakes are created using a new £1.5m dryer at the Slough site.

The machine, which became operational this month, works by drying sewage sludge and heating it to around 180C (356F).

The flakes are created in Berkshire and taken to Crossness sewage works in Bexley, east London, where they are fed into a generator to create electricity for the site.

Thames Water has used sewage to make electricity for decades, but the new drier product is more combustible and makes the process more energy efficient.

Crossness serves about two million Londoners.

Thames Water's Rupert Kruger said: "The new sludge dryer is the next chapter in our quest to unlock the full energy potential of waste."

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