The drinking water market has been hectic and manic. Regulatory structures are moving and shifting all the time, and large regulatory changes have been proposed. But for the wastewater sector, it has been comparatively quiet and unassuming.
We know regulatory actions and updates are forthcoming — risk assessment of PFAS in biosolids, long-term CSO plans coming to fruition, etc. — but, so far this year, the ship has been steady. Perhaps more interesting to me are the quieter trends and innovations bubbling up.
For one, energy management has always been a central focus for wastewater utilities due to the electrical expenses related to aeration and blowers. In the past month, I’ve learned about two facilities in particular that are addressing their energy problems head-on.
First is the City of Roseville’s Pleasant Grove WWTP, which installed equipment that would create renewable fuel for its solid wastes truck fleet. We will publish a Plant Profile on this facility in the September/October edition of Wastewater Digest as well as a video interview and photo gallery of the plant on our website.
Second is the Delaware County Regional Water Quality Authority, which used artificial intelligence to identify optimizations of its aeration blowers to save the utility considerable costs in operations each month, and they see additional savings with future uses of the technology. A video interview with the utility and the solutions provider can be found at wwdmag.com/videos.
Concerns about energy extend into the topic of sustainability as well. In this issue, the Regional San EchoWater facility is featured in the Plant Profile section (along with a video interview and photo gallery on our website). Regional San’s focus on Title 22 water is positioning it for its next project, called Harvest Water, which aims to reduce the reliance of agricultural users on ground water sources by instead using recycled water.
There are really fascinating and interesting stories around the country happening in wastewater, and these are just the tip of the iceberg. I’m always open to learning about them, so be sure to drop me a line about your energy and sustainability efforts at my email at [email protected].