From the 1/15/2010 Santa Cruz Sentinel, by Jondi Bumz

FELTON — Local engineer Peter Haase took 10 Chinese officials on a tour of wastewater treatments systems in Santa Cruz County on Thursday.

The group, which includes municipal and national officials, visited two projects in the morning in Felton, including one at San Lorenzo Valley High School built in 2003, lunched in Santa Cruz and visited two more sites in the afternoon, including Parkhurst Terrace in Aptos, built in 2006.

Haase, the principal engineer at Fall Creek Engineering, is consulting with the Chinese as part of a $100 million wastewater project to bring sanitation to 200 villages in the municipality of Ningbo, Zhejiang, in southeast China.The project will serve an area with 6 million people, about the size of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Haase designs biological treatment systems that purify wastewater with the help of aquatic flora and fauna rather than using chemical-intensive systems. He has made four trips to China in the past six months for the project, which presents many challenges. Among them are training Chinese engineers how to design natural treatment sanitary sewer systems that fit into the landscape.

“Many of the villages are ancient villages set in what is referred to as the Peak District in the mountains,” Haase said. “Each house is set at a different grade and there are not roads, just foot paths, which means many of the projects will need to be constructed by hand.”

Haase said the Chinese government must be willing to convert small plots of agricultural land to natural treatment systems. “Growing food is a critical issue so finding a balance between food production and environmental protection presents a unique set of issues,” Haase said. “Fortunately in a natural pond/wetland-based treatment system, we can grow agricultural crops, which bridges these two issues nicely.”

The next EPA Clean DG Policy and CHP Webinar will be held tomorrow, January 21 from 3-4:30 EST.

CHP is a reliable, cost-effective option for municipal wastewater treatment facilities (WWTF) that have, or are planning to install, anaerobic digesters. Biogas flow from these digesters can be used in a CHP system as “free” fuel to generate reliable electricity and power for the wastewater facility.

A well-designed CHP system that is powered by digester gas offers many benefits for wastewater treatment facilities because it:

  • Produces power at a cost below retail electricity.
  • Displaces fuels normally purchased for the facility’s thermal needs.
  • Qualifies as a renewable fuel for green power programs.
  • Offers an opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas and other air pollution emissions.
  • Enhances power reliability for the treatment plant.

This webinar will address opportunities and challenges of implementing CHP at WWTFs. Attendees will hear from:

  • Neeharika Naik-Dhungel (Program Manager, EPA CHP Partnership) about the EPA’s CHP Partnership’s efforts associated with CHP and WWTFs and plans going forward to further expand this opportunity.
  • Kathleen O’Connor (Manager, NYSERDA’s Anaerobic Digester Gas-Electricity Program) about how the ADG-Electricity Program supports CHP at WWTFs.
  • George Bevington (Manager, Gloversville-Johnstown, NY WWTF) about the city’s WWTF CHP system, and how the city took advantage of the NYSERDA ADG-Electricity Program and other forms of funding.
  • Bill Fitzgerald (Superintendent of Public Works for Fairhaven, Massachusetts) and Eian Lynch (Senior Engineer, Brown and Caldwell) about Fairhaven’s process for considering CHP for the town’s WWTF.

To participate in this Webinar, please fill out an online registration form

The Santa Monica Bay Commission issues a report every five years and this year's shows healthy improvement in habitat and water quality. (credit:Flickr/Tim_Tolle)

The State funded Santa Monica Bay Commission issues a report every five years and this year's shows healthy improvement in habitat and water quality. The report credits secondary treatment improvements at the City's Hyperion wastewater treatment plant and CSDLC's JWPCP in Carson. (credit:Flickr/Tim_Tolle)

Patrizia Hall
LABS Blogger

The Santa Monica Bay’s dry-weather water quality record has improved and some habitats have rebounded since the release of a report five years ago on the Bay’s environmental health.

But the latest analysis of the waters off the South Bay coastline points to some lingering problems, including DDT contamination from the 1970s, contaminated seafood, threatened fish populations and pollution caused by wet weather stormwater discharge.

Link to LA Daily News article

Link to 2010 State of the Bay Report published by the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission

Soledad’s new 5-mgd wastewater treatment plant gets featured on the local news. Local officials sound thrilled to have the plant operating and look forward to growth and prosperity for their community. The facility allows the City to lift a moratorium on new construction.

What does the new plant mean to the community?  The Chamber of Commerce spokesperson believes…

It means we can do more development, bring more new homes to our people and more work for our people.

View the video on KSBW’s website here, go>

The consulting engineer and construction manager for the expansion was Black & Veatch. Shimmick Construction built the expansion.

The new biosolids drying facility is operating at VRSD’s Toland Road Landfill and turns sludge from seven regional wastewater treatment plants into dried landfill cover material. The system started up in November and is powered entirely by gas captured from the landfill.

It’s the first of its kind, so we’ve been doing things slowly to make sure everything is done properly said Mark Lawler, VRSD’s General Manager

Read the story on Biomass magazine’s website.

See Mark’s presentation on VRSD’s system at next week’s CWEA one-day biosolids conference.  “Biosolids: Understanding Future Regulatory Trends and Impacts on Biosolids Management in California” occurs on Jan. 26th in Whittier and Jan 27th in San Francisco. Flyer and RSVP details here.