Volute Dewatering Press restores flow after five years of backup
An American manufacturer of sludge handling products, Process Wastewater Technologies LLC (PWTech) announces success along the Connecticut River, where Montague Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) has been meeting EPA permit regulations for total suspended solids (TSS) within a month after installation of their Volute Dewatering Press. The optimized screw press, known for its dewatering drum that achieves both thickening and pressing in a single compact solution, has reduced solids backup loadings from 60,000 pounds to 9,000 pounds, restoring healthy flow back into local waterways and helping protect the well-being of the public and environment.
“Since our sludge had become so difficult to dewater, we had to send it to Canada for disposal, which is anticipated to cost over $350,000 a year,” said Chelsey Little, superintendent of Montague WPCF. “With this new system in place, we’ll have the opportunity to put that money toward other initiatives benefitting our community. One of our goals is to serve as a regional processing facility for our neighbors’ sludge. Together, we can work to improve our area’s carbon footprint and become better stewards of the environment.”
Over the last decade, significant industrial change in the Northeast has impacted wastewater treatment operations throughout the region, forcing utilities to reevaluate processes and invest in new capital. This began for Montague WPCF in 2017 following the closure of a nearby paper mill, which over time changed sludge consistency and reduced the efficiency of existing dewatering equipment. The Volute Dewatering Press, which was installed by the Town’s own staff, has a smaller footprint than previous dewatering equipment at the facility and has already drastically improved processed sludge cake conditions. It is also expected to save local ratepayer dollars by reducing man-hours required in previous operations.
In addition to cost savings, the compact machine is delivering environmental benefits as well. The more efficient operations of the press have reduced run times, in turn lowering the electrical consumption at the facility. The screw press will also improve the utility’s compost derived from its cake, further supporting sustainability goals, the circular economy and local agriculture.
“It’s remarkable to see how quickly the Volute screw press was able to turn things around for Montague WPCF,” said Chris Hubbard, business development manager at PWTech. “The Volute style screw press gives municipalities a new, highly efficient option for sludge dewatering. As the area continues to adapt to new conditions, we are hopeful this success in Montague paves the way for other communities experiencing similar battles.”
Little will present results of the Volute Dewatering Press installation at the New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA) 2022 Spring Meeting during the “Innovation and Resiliency” session on Wednesday, May 25 at 9:30 a.m. The event is open to all NEWEA members and will be held at Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. Additional information is available at springmeeting.newea.org.