The D.C. Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant recently became the first utility in North America to use a Norwegian thermal hydrolysis system to convert the sludge left over from treated sewage into electricity. The technology being used is the largest of its kind in the world and expected to provide one-third of the 157-acre plant’s power, saving about $10 million annually.
Global Engineering Solutions (GES) played an important role in the design of the treatment plant. GES provided mechanical, plumbing and fire protection services for the HVAC modifications to the Solids Blending Building, as well as for the design of the new 13,000 sf Solids Screening Building, 50,000 sf Pre-dewatering Building, a bridge connecting the two buildings, and a 15,500 sf Digester Gas Building. The plumbing design included the process plumbing for handling waste, solids and disposal to other facilities, and controls for all of the designed systems. In addition to design and construction services, GES provided commissioning and startup of the main process train facilities.
According to a recent article in The Washington Post, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser said the system dovetails with the city’s sustainability efforts. “We cant afford to have waste be just waste,” Bowser said. “Every dollar spent to convert that waste into energy will help us to reach our goals.”