Energy-Efficient Brightwater Wastewater Treatment Plant Celebrates Grand Opening

King County’s Brightwater wastewater treatment plant in the USA celebrated a public grand opening on September 24 and officially began treating wastewater. Brightwater employs GE ZeeWeed MBR Technology.

Part of the $1.8 billion Brightwater Treatment System project, the largest expansion of the King County regional treatment system in 50 years, the plant will serve about 189,000 people in north King and south Snohomish County.

Construction of the project started in 2006 in response to increased growth in the region, Treatment plant start-up and operations begins in 2011, with the entire system scheduled to be completed in 2012. The 114-acre treatment plant site includes more than 70 acres of publicly accessible open space, trails and natural habitat designed to fit into and enhance the surrounding neighbourhood.

The plant is already receiving kudos for energy efficiencies. 'Brightwater is achieving the highest possible standards for the treatment of wastewater, which is the main environmental goal. By operating the plant as efficiently as possible, we are further doing our part as environmental stewards,' said Deputy King County Executive Fred Jarrett.

The technologies bringing the savings include installation of several high efficiency micro turbine blowers that will supply air to the plant aeration system they are expected to operate 30 to 50 per cent more efficiently than traditional blowers plus modification of the air handling system for the world’s largest membrane bioreactor. By optimising the amount of air required for operation of the MBR, Brightwater expects it can reduce the power consumption by around 50 per cent.

It is estimated that the combination of these two systems will save approx 4.5 million kilowatt hours per year.

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