A new blower for the wastewater treatment plant will help the discharge process, and should provide more energy savings.

The new blower was installed late last year to replace an original piece of equipment from when the plant opened in 2009. The old blower was aging and needed to be replaced, said Water/Wastewater Superintendent Kevin Quaethem.

The blower helps control the dissolved oxygen (DO) found at the plant during the treatment process. There are meters at the plant to measure the DO and other data points to make sure the bacteria being discharged is where it needs to be.

Quaethem said the old blower would activate when the DO meter said attention was needed.

“The number off the DO meters goes into the SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system and that has set points where we want to maintain levels,” he said. “When it got too low, the signal would go out to the blowers and they would come on. They were what we call cross-aligned blowers, so they would start up. You’d get a surge of air from the blower, and the DOs would go up and the blowers would shut off.”

The system worked well since the plant opened.

“We never had a discharge issue,” Quaethem said.

Despite not having any problems, Quaethem said the old blower wasn’t the most efficient way to work.

“Picture a line chart with something going up and down up and down — that’s the oxygen going into the vertical loop reactors,” he said. “Picture us, as humans, we eat a whole bunch of sugar and we’re up, and then we drop down. That’s what we were doing to the bacteria, which in turn effects the process.”

The new blower allows more control. The result will be fewer peaks and valleys with power usage.

“With the new blower, that blower can ramp up and down as the DO is needed,” he said. “What we’re getting is a line that’s more stable. It’s going to stabilize the bacteria. It’s going to save the energy.”