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Planning and Developing Energy Focused Environmental Management Systems for Wastewater Treatment Facilities

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Municipal Wastewater Treatment Facilities (WWTFs) throughout the United States play an important role in protecting human health and the environment. These facilities are designed and operated to reduce the environmental impacts of municipal wastewater (BOD, nutrients, solids, etc.) on local receiving waters and to protect the health of the communities served. The various processes used for collecting and treating wastewater however can and do create other environmental impacts primarily through the release of greenhouse gasses from the large consumption of expensive fossil fuel generated electricity.

Using EPA's “Ensuring a Sustainable Future: An Energy Management Guidebook for Wastewater and Water Utilities”, modeled on the ISO 14000 Environmental Management System Plan-Do-Check-Act process, a group of Rhode Island WWTF professionals are actively working together to identify and implement energy improvements for all Rhode Island municipal WWTFs through the development and implementation of an Energy Focused Environmental Management System.

This Energy Focused Environmental Management System is being developed by the Rhode Island WWTF Energy Roundtable; made up of various representatives from the nineteen WWTFs located in the State of Rhode Island. With the guidance of a professional quality management development team, Roundtable members meet on a regular basis to share information on establishing more efficient energy management practices at their facilities, measuring and benchmark their energy use, and identifying and assessing potential “Energy Efficiency Measures.” This paper discusses the strategies and methodologies used to coordinate the development and implementation of this statewide WWTF Energy Focused Environmental Management System.
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Keywords: Energy Conservation; Energy Efficiency Measures; Environmental Management System; Plan-Do-Check-Act Process

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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