Energy Efficiency Upgrades Earn Connecticut Wastewater Treatment Facility Three Awards

Energy Efficiency Upgrades Earn Connecticut Wastewater Treatment Facility Three Awards
From left, Richard Johnson, Glastonbury town manager; Dave Sacchitella, superintendent of buildings; Michael Bisi, superintendent of sanitation; and Lance Mazur, director of operations, were on hand to receive the Power of Change Awards during a ceremony held at the State Capitol.

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Requiring continuous operation, wastewater treatment facilities and their electrical consumption represent a major utility component for municipalities. For this reason, the Town of Glastonbury, Conn., made upgrading its wastewater treatment facility a priority, with the dual goals of bringing the facility into compliance with state and federal nitrogen removal discharge permit parameters and achieving an overall reduction in utility consumption. 

Glastonbury received three Power of Change Awards including Top Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant. The town was recognized for outstanding achievements by state and energy leaders, including Connecticut Gov. Dannel P.  Malloy; Daniel C. Esty, commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection; Stewart Hudson, president of the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation; Sabina Shelby, managing trustee of the Hampshire Foundation; Mally Cox-Chapman, philanthropy advisor of the Common Sense Fund; and state legislative leaders and energy stakeholders. 

The Power of Change Awards reinforce Gov. Malloy’s Lead by Example program, which calls for the win-win benefits of energy efficiency for Connecticut and its taxpayers.

“These Power of Change Award winners demonstrate Connecticut’s leadership and innovation in energy efficiency — they are prime examples of how our municipalities are taking an active role in advancing a clean energy economy,” says Hudson. “We created the Power of Change Award first as an opportunity to encourage more state and municipal leaders to make important investments in their future, and also as an occasion to give energy-efficiency leaders their due recognition. We believe that it is vital to celebrate success in our towns and cities. The Power of Change Awards celebrate good government practices that protect human health, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and in the process, help the Connecticut economy and save taxpayer dollars.” 

Glastonbury, which handles about 2.2 mgd from a population of 6,000, received First Honors in the Top Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant category. Wastewater treatment plants can represent a large portion of a town’s energy use, making this category a significant contribution to the goal of increasing energy efficiency. 

Maximizing efficiencies 

Making use of energy incentive rebates, Glastonbury installed more energy-efficient equipment and automated controls that only use power to meet demand. The new aeration system (Endress+Hauser) and aeration diffusers (Sanitaire – a Xylem Brand) produce increased air levels with less energy, while return activated sludge pumps (Weir Specialty Pumps/WEMCO Pump) and motors adjust flow and speed to match system requirements. 

Variable-frequency drives (VFDs) installed on 125 hp aeration blowers (HSI Blowers) control speed to the actual demand required. Installing a SCADA system (Rockwell Automation) provides a real-time overview of electrical usage to help plant managers optimize operations and efficiency at the same time. 

“The SCADA system has had an extraordinary impact on our energy consumption,” says Mike Bisi, superintendent of sanitation in Glastonbury. 

Glastonbury maximized efficiencies to achieve a sewer use rate below the average of towns with similar service requirements. With the upgrade, the plant averages a reduction in electrical consumption of 299,256 kWh/year (approximately 26 percent). The facility’s adjusted energy use from baseline yielded a reduction of 12.3 percent between January 2011 and January 2012. In addition, Glastonbury was the recipient of the New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA) Utility Management Award for outstanding performance. The Power of Change Award further recognizes the town’s advances in energy efficiency. 

“The award recognizes the hard work by our team on a daily basis to make our plant as efficient as possible,” Bisi says. “Also that the town working with our design engineering team and contractor were successful in our intent to ultimately improve overall operating efficiencies, which was ultimately recognized be receiving this award.” 

Glastonbury was recently featured in the print issue of Treatment Plant Operator magazine:


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