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Sewage Helping Power Treatment Plant

 Posted by on March 9, 2011
Mar 092011
 

Rockford's wastewater treatment plant takes in thousands of gallons of sewage every day.

While its being treated… they're using it as fuel to power the plant.

Thousands of gallons of sewage put off a lot of sewage gas.

The plants co-generators take the gas and use it to generate electricity and heat. But they're not on all the time.

"They buy their power at night typically when its cheap, from the grid and they store their digester gas."

When electricity prices rise during the day… the switch gets thrown on for these three generators. They turn turbines producing electricity and waste heat. Its much more efficient than just buying power from Com-Ed… the plant sees about 40 percent more bang per buck.

"Hundreds of pumps, we're powering blowers, lights, utility equipment, all the equipment that's necessary to process and treat the sewage before the clean water is discharged to the river."

The hot exhaust heats water… which is sent throughout the facility to heat the buildings.

Martindale's company has installed co-generators throughout the area… and will be hosting a tour of the sewage plants co-generator later this month. He says they can be all different sizes.

"The size varies actually, it can be as small as 500 kw that you might find at a small Y.M.C.A., or at night, be as big as a 20 megawatt plant or larger."

The sewage district is able to save 30-thousand dollars by providing part of its own power and that helps save rate payers money.