The next time you flush in the nation’s capital, you might consider this: You — or, more precisely, whatever you have flushed — will help generate clean energy.

D.C. Water, which also treats sewage from much of the Maryland and Northern Virginia suburbs, recently became the first utility in North America to use a Norwegian thermal hydrolysis system to convert the sludge left over from treated sewage into electricity.

Yes, to put it bluntly, the city’s sewage treatment plant is turning poop into power.

“It’s a huge deal on so many fronts,” D.C. Water General Manager George S. Hawkins said after Wednesday’s official unveiling of the system. “It’s a public utility leading the world in innovation and technology. We have private and public water companies coming from all over the world to see this.”

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