Wastewater Treatment Facility Pursues Organics-To-Energy Vision 

In Pennsylvania, the Derry Township Municipal Authority's $12 million biosolids facility improvement program will expand capacity, increase energy efficiency, boost sustainability at its wastewater treatment facility.

In Pennsylvania, the Derry Township Municipal Authority (DTMA) has taken a big step on its journey toward energy and nutrient recovery from organic waste at its Clearwater Road Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF). Ongoing upgrades at the five million-gallons-per-day WWTF are part of a $12 million biosolids facility improvements program. These improvements will expand capacity and increase energy efficiency, boosting the plant’s sustainability.

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The Derry Township Municipal Authority’s Clearwater Road Wastewater Treatment Facility. (Source: Brown and Caldwell)

Already accepting organic waste from industrial and municipal sources, and with plans 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 lessen the financial burden to customers.

To help achieve these goals, the DTMA has purchased Ecoremedy®’s Fluid Lift Gasification™ (FLG) technology. The full-scale biosolids drying and gasification process is an 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 Polyfluoroalkyl 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,” said DTMA Executive Director William Rehkop. “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.”

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Walnut Creek, CA-based environmental engineering and construction services firm Brown and Caldwell is providing construction management, design services, and permitting to accommodate the new system and development of a biosolids receiving facility at the plant. Once operational, the FLG system will process higher amounts of biosolids into renewable thermal energy, biochar, and concentrated minerals, thus keeping biosolids out of landfill and creating a sustainable fuel source. Local manufacturer’s representative Kappe Associates, Inc. helped develop the system’s scope, performance, throughput, and capabilities.

“We congratulate DTMA for their visionary approach to recovering resources and reducing environmental impacts,” said Brown and Caldwell Project Manager Colin O’Brien. “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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