University Area Joint Authority Celebrates Groundbreaking of Biosolids Project

The University Area Joint Authority celebrated the groundbreaking of its innovative Biosolids Project at the Authority's facility in Pennsylvania. Joined by Authority members, staff, project team members and stakeholders, the ceremony highlighted the benefits of the Biosolids project and witnessed the Authority Board starting the demolition of its existing biosolids process
University Area Joint Authority Celebrates Groundbreaking of Biosolids Project
Courtesy of RETTEW

"Today is the culmination of many years of planning and efforts by the Authority to ensure that we are employing the most cost-effective technology and harnessing the value of our community's wastewater" said Cory Miller, Executive Director of the University Area Joint Authority.

"Our existing biosolids process, composting, started in 1994 and was among the few operational facilities of its kind in the nation. Having reached its retirement, the Authority is excited to replace these facilities with biosolids digestion and drying that will position the Authority for the next 30 years."

The Biosolids Project will replace the Authority's aged composting process with an advanced anaerobic digestion and biosolids drying process. The material produced by this process remains a State and Federally approved Class A/Exceptional Value Biosolid, allowing continued sales of the finished product to the public for soil amendments.

This has been a highly successfully program, with the Authority selling out of the soil amendment every year for decades. The byproducts of the process create a biogas that the Authority will process and convert to Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) for sale as a renewable replacement to traditional pipeline natural gas.

"This process allows the Authority to reduce operational costs from the current composting process, while generating new revenue for the Authority through regionalization and sale of the renewable energy" stated Jason Wert, Market Leader for Water and Renewable Energy at RETTEW, the Project Engineer. 

Through public bidding and finance, the Authority has selected Quandel Construction Group, LLC of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Myco Mechanical, Inc. of Telford, Pennsylvania and Hayden Power Group of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania to construct the $74 million dollar facility upgrade.
The University Area Joint Authority is the municipal authority that provides wastewater collection, treatment, biosolids management, and water reuse for the Borough of State College, College Township, Ferguson Township, Harris Township, and Patton Township. 

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