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Town puts more energy into sewage efficiency

John Pavlik, l., Huntington sewage plant supervisor, and

John Pavlik, l., Huntington sewage plant supervisor, and Tom McCurdy, regional manager for Aerzen USA, in front of the Delta Hybrid Rotary Lobe Compressor. Credit: Erin Geismar

A pilot program in Huntington to make wastewater treatment more energy efficient has yielded such positive results that Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said he is ready to move full steam ahead with a revamp of the treatment facility.

The town partnered with manufacturer Aerzen USA to test the company’s newest machine, called a Delta Hybrid Rotary Lobe Compressor, at no cost to the town for six months in order to determine the machine’s energy efficiency. The Delta Hybrid is designed to replace the standard “blowers” used in the sewage treatment process, which aerate wastewater to activate the biological process of breaking down pollutants in the water.

“It turns out the blowers are the largest single source of energy consumption at the plant,” Petrone said Tuesday.

After just five weeks, the town has found that the Delta Hybrid costs 30 percent less to operate than its standard blowers. The town plans to replace three of its seven blowers with Delta Hybrids, at a savings of about $80,000 a year in electricity costs.

Tom McCurdy, regional manager for Aerzen, said the machines are operating at an even better rate of efficiency than the company expected.

“We predicted about 20 to 25 percent energy savings,” he said. “So it has exceeded our expectations.”

McCurdy added that the machines are designed to be as efficient as possible not only in energy consumption, but also in maintenance costs. The new machines will cost about $5,000 a year to maintain, compared to $30,000 a year for the standard blower.

John Pavlik, the town’s wastewater treatment plant supervisor, said the Delta Hybrid will make operations at the plant run smoother as well. He said they require less manpower to operate, need far fewer oil changes and are all-around a better and more manageable design.

“It may not seem very exciting to most people,” he said. “But if you work in this industry, this is a really big deal.”

The blowers cost about $45,000 each, McCurdy said.

Tuesday night at its meeting the Huntington Town Board is scheduled to authorize the supervisor to apply for $180,000 from the New York Environmental Facilities Corp. Green Innovation Grant Program to help pay for the purchase and installation.

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