Wednesday, September 17, 2014
   
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Air flow upgrades to save money at plant

Gothenburg wastewater treatment plant manager Mike Peters thinks the city will save more than $4,000 yearly by making changes to blowers.

Local city council members think so too and approved spending $27,230 for two variable-frequency drives (VFDs) to control blower motors at the plant.

The blowers provide oxygen to aeration basins to help microorganisms break down sewage.

Installing VFDs on the blower motors will slow them down and reduce the amount of air pumped.

Peters told council members energy is wasted at the plant because less sewage flows to the plant at night which means less oxygen is needed.

During the day, when Peters is at the plant, he adjusts the blowers five times a day.

“It’s still 30% to 80% more air than I need,” he said, noting that slowing blowers will also extend their life.

In addition to the cost of the VFDs, an air flow meter will be installed, computers programmed, the system designed and employees trained.

The equipment will likely be installed this spring.

City administrator Bruce Clymer said money is in the budget for the equipment.

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