New Treatment System Provides Many Environmental Benefits

Dec. 10, 2014

Today, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Southeast District joined the Ft. Pierce Utilities Authority (FPUA) to celebrate the grand opening of their biosolids treatment system. Michael Bechtold, an engineer with the department, spoke about the accomplishment of FPUA’s new biosolids treatment process.

The state-of-the-art system includes CleanB® chlorine dioxide disinfection, dewatering and disposition of the materials. The CleanB® treatment system is patented by BCR Environmental based in Jacksonville. The system converts municipal biosolids to odor-free stabilized Class B material in 10 minutes. Class B biosolids have reduced levels of pathogens and vector attraction reduction, protecting public health and the environment.

DEP issued a permit revision on Aug. 26, 2014, to allow construction and subsequent operation of the system at FPUA’s wastewater treatment plant. The finished product allows biosolids generated by the facility to be applied beneficially to the land, transferred to a DEP-approved biosolids treatment facility and/or used as a biofuel. In the first year alone, the system is expected to save FPUA approximately $150,000 to $200,000 by reducing energy consumption, simplifying treatment operations and lowering operating costs.

“The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is pleased to work with the Ft. Pierce Utilities Authority to improve their energy footprint by incorporating this system into their wastewater treatment plant,” said Jill Creech, director of the Southeast District. “Improving wastewater byproducts for beneficial use protects the public and the environment and is environmentally responsible.”

“Ft. Pierce Utilities Authority has a long history of implementing environmentally conscious programs in our wastewater, water and energy programs,” said Bill Thiess, director of Utilities at FPUA. “This new system will not only conserve energy but will also process wastewater that is more environmentally friendly, keeping Fort Pierce beautiful for all to enjoy.”

In 1972, Ft. Pierce citizens voted by referendum to create the FPUA. The FPUA governing board consists of the mayor of the city of Fort Pierce along with four officials appointed by the city of Ft. Pierce Commission.

FPUA is a municipally owned utility whose mission is “to provide our customers with economical, reliable and friendly service in a continuous effort to enhance the quality of life in our community.” The FPUA wastewater system serves the city of Fort Pierce and the immediate surrounding area, encompassing nearly 30 square miles.

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