An exciting project currently in the design phase at the Piscataway Water Resource Recovery Facility is transforming the way WSSC handles waste from five existing treatment plants. The Piscataway Bio-Energy Project - the largest and most technically advanced project ever constructed by WSSC - will employ innovative technologies to recover resources and produce green energy. In the coming years, our Piscataway plant will evolve into a bio-energy production facility that uses efficiency, technology and sustainability to enhance the financial and environmental health of the region. This $250 million project will serve our customers for the next 100 years.
The Bio-Energy Project will transform how WSSC handles biosolids -- the nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from the wastewater treatment process -- from five existing WSSC water resource recovery facilities (formerly known as wastewater treatment plants). Using cutting-edge “green” technology, the new facility will significantly reduce the amount of biosolids left over from the treatment process, thus reducing costs to haul and dispose of the product. The remaining biosolids will be significantly cleaner (Class A), making the disposal process much easier and allowing the final product to be sold and distributed as fertilizer. With cleaner Class A biosolids, WSSC will also save money by eliminating the use of lime, which is currently applied to Class B biosolids to control odor. This new process will save money for our customers by reducing operating costs by more than $3 million per year.
As an added benefit, the process to create the Class A biosolids will generate renewable fuel to help run the plant. This new process produces methane gas, which will be captured to provide the Piscataway facility with a reliable power source that is completely off the grid. The new process will reduce WSSC’s greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent.
In addition to critical sustainability benefits, WSSC’s investment in bio-energy is a conscientious investment decision to spend now in order to save going forward. Bio-energy will demonstrate significant cost savings over the long term by reducing power consumption from fossil fuels and reducing disposal costs. The Piscataway Water Resource Recovery Facility will become WSSC’s showcase for achieving optimal value by investing in a green future.
Phase One of the project is now underway and includes design and early construction, which entails demolition of existing on-site facilities and relocation of existing utilities. Phase Two is expected to be awarded fall 2019. The entire project should be complete and operational in spring 2024.