Pennsylvania township ups its organics game at WWTP

The Derry Township Municipal Authority will install Ecoremedy’s Fluid Lift Gasification system to convert biosolids into renewable thermal energy, biochar and concentrated minerals.

aerial view of Derry Township Waste Water Treatment Facility
The Derry Township Waste Water Treatment Facility will install fluid lift gasification technology which will help the facility divert organics from landfills and create a source of renewable energy and other products.
Photo courtesy of Dairy Township Municipal Authority

The Derry Township Municipal Authority (DTMA), located near Hershey, Pennsylvania, has taken a significant step on its journey toward energy and nutrient recovery from organic waste at its Clearwater Road Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF).

Ongoing upgrades at the 5 million gallon per day WWTF, part of a $12 million biosolids facility improvements program, will expand capacity and increase energy efficiency, boosting the plant’s sustainability.

Already accepting organic waste from industrial and municipal sources and planning to receive future additional waste streams, the DTMA has a long-term vision to recover and reuse resources, reduce landfill waste and generate alternate revenue sources to reduce the financial burden for customers.

In a landmark step, the DTMA has purchased Ecoremedy’s Fluid LiftGasification (FLG) technology. The full-scale biosolids drying and gasification process is the world’s most advanced platform for simultaneous gasification and nutrient and energy recovery from industrial residuals and municipal biosolids. A major advantage of the state-of-the-art system is its ability to reduce or eliminate emerging contaminants, such as per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS).

“This major investment aligns with our mission to provide a cost-effective public service to protect and enhance the water environment and quality of life for our community,” DTMA Executive Director William Rehkop says. “By implementing self-sustaining facility improvements and expanding our hauled waste program, the authority has generated alternate revenue sources which have significantly subsidized operation and maintenance costs to benefit our customers.”

Environmental engineering and construction services firm Brown and Caldwell, Walnut Creek, California, is providing construction management, design services and permitting to accommodate the new system and development of a biosolid receiving facility at the plant. Once operational, the FLG system will convert higher amounts of biosolids into renewable thermal energy, biochar and concentrated minerals, keeping biosolids out of landfills and creating a sustainable fuel source.

Kappe Associates Inc., a wastewater treatment design and engineering firm based in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, played a pivotal role in developing the system’s scope, performance, throughput and capabilities.

“We congratulate DTMA for their visionary approach to recovering resources and reducing environmental impacts,” Brown and Caldwell Project Manager Colin O’Brien says. “Our team is honored to help transform the facility and position DTMA as a waste-to-energy leader at a time when our industry seeks innovative ways to manage biosolids.”

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