The Mississippi chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies has honored the Natchez Water Works for implementing a Parkson Thermo-System solar sludge dryer to process biosolids more efficiently and economically.
"This was a very original project because it uses solar energy and automation," said Judy Adams, head of the ACEC chapter in Mississippi. "And this project will save taxpayer money."
Natchez was one of several installations to be recognized in the group's annual award ceremony for engineering projects that are original, innovative, and provide technical and economic value.
Drawing 95% of its drying power from the sun, Parkson's Thermo-System gives Natchez a low-energy solution to dry sludge from plant lagoons to help meet EPA regulated sludge storage limits. After the upgrade, Natchez no longer has to transport wet sludge to a nearby landfill, translating into an annual savings of $300,000 in transportation costs.
"We're very proud of the project," said David Gardner, superintendent of the Natchez Water Works. "I think we can set a good example for the rest of the state. I wish we had it 20 years ago."
Gardner said the Thermo-System installation at the 2.5 MGD plant has spurred interest from other regional operators in technology solutions that promote energy-efficiency and recycling. He says many people have come to visit the newly upgraded facility.
"The Parkson Team worked closely throughout the project with the City insuring a trouble free installation as well as insuring that all plant personnel were fully trained," said Mike Miller, VP of the North American Municipal Business Unit for Parkson. "Start up went very smoothly and we remain committed to providing Natchez with all future support needs."
More than 150 Thermo-System installations are operating around the world, from the snow-covered mountains of the Swiss Alps to the hot and humid climate of south Florida. For more information, visit www.parkson.com.