Wastewater Treatment Plant Aeration System Improvements

According to the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, water and wastewater facilities account for up to 35% of municipal energy usage. Aeration systems are notorious for high energy costs due to the large equipment size and inherent inefficiencies of the process. Typical wastewater treatment plants’ activated sludge aeration systems account for about half of a municipality’s/agency’s total treatment plant power bill.

With increasing energy costs, improvements to the energy efficiency of aeration systems show shorter payback periods. A courtesy power monitoring audit performed by Baxter & Woodman at Belvidere’s Wastewater Treatment Plant indicated activated sludge energy consumption rates much higher than what is considered typical. The City determined that aeration system improvements would be highly cost effective, with paybacks achieved in less than five years. The City selected a comprehensive aeration system improvement, which essentially updated all of its components.

The improvements place the City of Belvidere’s aeration system as one of the most efficient in the state and have resulted in projected energy savings of over $227,000 per year.