In a special ground breaking ceremony held on October 2, 2009, federal, state, and local government agencies joined together to announce more than $16 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding to improve the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in Berlin, Maryland.
The improvements to the city of Berlin’s WWTP are designed to dramatically increase biological nutrient removal, which is of particular importance to the area’s public waters, and to improve the overall sustainability of the facility.
As part of the facility upgrade, Parkson will install two of its THERMO-SYSTEM Active Solar Sludge Drying Chambers. The THERMO-SYSTEM chambers will allow the facility to dry the biosolids that are a natural part of the plant’s treatment process and have the capability to cost-effectively turn them into a beneficial Class A product for use as a fuel source or soil amendment. Most importantly, the THERMO-SYSTEM chambers are capable of reducing the weight and volume of the biosolids by up to 75% using solar energy to provide over 90% of the energy needed in the drying process.
According to Mark Prouty, Senior Project Manager for URS Corporation, Wilmington, Delaware office (the consulting engineer for the Berlin WWTP project), “We looked at many biosolids drying solutions, but our goal was to put Berlin in the position of having numerous options for the use or disposal of the biosolids from their plant. With Parkson’s system, all of the options are open, including soil amendment applications and as a fuel source for equipment such as lime kilns. One of the attractions of the THERMO-SYSTEM is its solar-based approach to drying the biosolids and its ability to use a free renewable energy source - the sun. Even if the facility chooses to transport the dried biosolids to a landfill site, the THERMO-SYSTEM will significantly reduce the volumes that have to be transported. It is the solar-based drying approach in particular that aligns directly with the sustainable objectives at the Berlin facility.”
“We are proud to participate in the improvements being made at the Berlin facility because we are able to bring a technology to the project that truly helps the Berlin facility become more sustainable and allows the facility to mitigate biosolids handling problems and costs for decades into the future. It is reassuring to know that by harnessing the power of the sun we are playing an important role in converting a waste by-product into a valuable fuel or soil amendment,” commented Zain Mahmood, President and CEO of Parkson Corporation. “We see this technology as a genuine contribution to a sustainable future for us all, which is one of the most important results that we can deliver to the world today and to future generations.”