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Water & Wastewater Energy Efficiency Program

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The State of Wisconsin initiated an energy saving program state-wide approximately six years ago. The initial portion of the program was a pilot program providing 12 sectors, including General Industrial, to the northeast area of the state which proved to be successful. In 2001, the program was made available state-wide through the Wisconsin Department of Administration and Division of Energy. Also a separate program for the water and wastewater industry was added to address energy savings in that sector.

The water and wastewater program has been a success in obtaining documented savings in municipal small and medium sized facilities as well as large facilities. The program has also realized savings at a limited number of industrial sites. The savings have been realized through application of today's available technology, assessing and identifying applicable sized equipment for the present hydraulic and organic loadings at facilities, review and identification of operation modifications that will reduce energy consumption, component assessment of process equipment integrated with system wide assessment of treatment processes and available sensing devices and control mechanisms, making operations people aware of their energy consumption and how they can better manage its consumption, instructing operations, administration and management personnel how to read and understand their electric utility bill, getting the energy user (operators and superintendents) to communicate with the bill payer (clerk or treasurer) so the user knows what it is costing as well as view the bill to observe and learn how the energy is being consumed, and working with service and equipment suppliers to also present the long-term value of energy saving equipment.

The program has identified simple modifications such as changing a sheave on a blower, to more involved projects like changing from biological phosphorus removal to chemical removal so all of the organic load could be anaerobically treated and produce biogas for electric generation.

The savings realized to date, approximately 23,300,000 kWh, would provide electricity to energize nearly 2,650 homes annually. All of this was accomplished without impacting the effluent quality discharged from the modified facilities and the majority of operators have also stated they have realized improved operations as well as energy savings. Some of the improvements have been reduced odor, better settling biosolids, less chemical consumption for biosolids thickening and/or dewatering, and more interest by staff in the operation of the facility.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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