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Sweet smell of waste savings


Canby's wastewater treatment plant staff is always looking for ways to save the city money

by: RAY HUGHEY - Dave Connor, the Canby wastewater treatment plant manager, and his staff have been aggressive in looking for ways to save money in the operation and maintenance of the facility. Using a little bit of awareness, imagination and ingenuity, workers at the city of Canby Wastewater Treatment Plant have been chipping away at its operating costs.

The plant's energy efficient changes were spurred by a series of energy efficient workshops put on last year by the Association of Clean Water Agencies, said Dave Connor, the plant's lead operator.

That was followed by an assessment of plant operations by the Energy Smart Industrial, a BPA program to help utility and industrial customers save costs and energy.

They tackled the lighting first, replacing all the lights, inside and out, Connor said.

Out went incandescent bulbs. In went energy-saving Compact Fluorescent Lamps.

The big 8-foot T12 fluorescent lights gave way to 4-foot high performance T8 lamps. That type of lighting is estimated to save about $1,598 a year.

Reworking the lighting cost about $12,000, Connor said, but the incentive reimbursements from BPA trimmed the cost to about $6,900. The project should pay for itself in about three years, he said.

The plant scored a major energy savings by automating the valves that regulate the oxygen levels for the microorganisms that break down the wastes. They used to have to take readings and adjust the valves manually, Connor said. Now the automated valves are adjusted 24/7.

"That's a huge savings in that it is able to do it on its own," he said.

They then reduced their water usage by using recycled water instead of city water to wash a belt press.

Automating the valves cost $28,219, Connor said. They were able to hold down costs to that amount by doing most of the installation themselves.

Then a $19,750 incentive reimbursement based on energy savings reduced the project cost to $8,466.

The changes have saved the city $30,638 over the last 20 months. Subtract the project cost and the city saved $22,172 between water and electricity.by: RAY HUGHEY - Operator Dave Frahm and other staff members have helped pare costs and increase energy savings at the city of Canby Wastewater Treatment plant.