The Ishpeming Area Wastewater Treatment Authority Board (Ishpeming) was faced with increasing costs to dispose of biosolids at their local landfill. There were some crop land application sites available for their Class B biosolids but weather, a lack of ag land, and regulations limit such practices in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Ishpeming adapted and chose to produce Class A biosolids compost. They needed:
The ECS in-vessel tunnel system provides a highly controlled, well insulated, and completely sealed compost process. An all concrete and stainless steel construction ensures it will stand up to decades of use. The ECS CompTroller™ automatically controls the reversing and recirculating aeration system to achieve PFRP and VAR time/temperature profiles. The software tracks and logs a batch a record to certify regulatory compliance. Odor creation is minimized by maintaining near BMP temperature and oxygen levels. Odor emissions are further reduced by eliminating fugitive emissions and scrubbing all exhaust air through a conservatively designed biofilter.
Throughout eight years of operation, Ishpeming had not experienced any problematic control system downtime and ECS had promptly filled requests for spare parts and technical support. To stick to the municipal WWTP long lifecycle plan, Ishpeming staff inquired about scheduled replacement of the control server PC and other upgrades available in new versions of CompTroller™. ECS engineers, as is our practice, had continuously improved the hardware and software, created more operator and control features, and made remote support even easier. In 2017, ECS upgraded the CompTroller™ control server and software which only required remote support from ECS engineers.
We were faced with landfill costs of more than $120,000 per year. Our woodchip cost (for bulking agent) is around $60,000 annually and we should see a revenue source of the end product in the area of $30,000 per year. We have cut our residuals processing cost in half with composting. Aside from the fact that environmentally this is the right thing to do, we are saving on filling the landfill, greenhouse gas emissions and it is costing the user of our system far less by composting. Deborah Pellow Director of Wastewater Treatment Plant Ishpeming, MI
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