ARRA Project Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Winnipesaukee River Basin Program Celebrates Completion of Major Project
Installation of New Aeration Blowers and Energy Efficiency Improvements
ARRA-funded Wastewater Project in New Hampshire
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, officials from US EPA Region 1, representatives from New Hampshire’s congressional delegation, representatives from the Winnipesaukee River Basin Program (WRBP) Advisory Board and members from the communities served by the WRBP took time today to recognize the completion of major upgrades to the Franklin Wastewater Treatment Facility operated by the DES WRBP. The total cost of the project was $2 million, which included $1 million in “principal forgiveness” from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and $1 million Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan. The project provided over 100 New Hampshire project-based jobs, significant energy efficiency and environmental protection improvements.
The improvements made to the Franklin WWTF centered around the installation of new aeration blowers and their automated control systems. These aeration (air) blowers are used in the biologic treatment process so that the microorganisms used for sewerage treatment remain healthy and effective. The blowers are required to be on 24 hours a day seven days a week, and account for over one-third of the entire WWTF’s electrical usage. These new blowers are expected to save over 50 percent of electrical use compared to the blowers they replaced, for about a 20 percent reduction in the entire facility’s electrical use, or approximately $63,000 per year at current electricity rates.
The reduction in electricity usage from the installation of these blowers effectively eliminates over 300 tons of green house gas emissions (CO2) per year. The project also included some other innovative aspects, including the replacement of the 30-year old roof with a “green” roof, comprised of both vegetated and reflective portions. This new “green” roof serves to reduce storm water runoff and the heating and cooling requirements for the facility’s main building.
“The ARRA project at the Franklin Wastewater Treatment Facility is a shining example of how New Hampshire effectively put to use the federal stimulus dollars we received. The project helped create jobs at an important time for our economy and will have lasting environmental and energy efficiency benefits,” said Tom Burack, DES Commissioner.
“Clean, safe water is one of the bedrock foundations for our communities and our economy to grow and thrive,” said Ira W. Leighton, deputy regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s New England office. “This project, funded with help from the Recovery Act, is helping to make important energy efficiency upgrades to the Franklin Wastewater Treatment Facility. The work has helped to boost this local economy, and will pay dividends for years in reduced energy costs at the plant.”
Background on the WRBP:
The Department of Environmental Services Winnipesaukee River Basin Program (WRBP) owns and operates the regional wastewater collection and treatment system on behalf of the 10 Lakes Region communities that receive the benefit of the service. Those communities served by the WRBP, which includes Center Harbor, Moultonborough, Gilford, Meredith, Laconia, Belmont, Sanbornton, Northfield, Tilton and Franklin, pay all the expenses of operating, maintaining, and upgrading the WRBP infrastructure. Of the estimated 60,600 total population in these communities, roughly 40 percent (or about 26,000 residential sewer users) fund the WRBP. The WRBP also serves the region by providing septage disposal capability.
The WRBP Franklin Wastewater Treatment Facility began operation in 1979, and many of the structural components and systems are more than 30 years old. A total of over $75 million was spent to construct these facilities using primarily Clean Water Act funding and about $5 million is spent each year to operate and maintain the WRBP. The result of this regional collection and treatment system is the elimination of sewage discharges into the Lakes Region’s lakes and rivers, and the protection and development of expanded recreational and economic assets in central New Hampshire.
This project reflects the continuing commitment of all those involved in the project to maintain this necessary infrastructure; thereby, keeping New Hampshire’s rivers and lakes clean and supporting recreational and economic development in the region.The engineer for the project was CDM of Manchester, and the contractor was Methuen Construction Co., of Salem. For more information regarding this project, please contact Sharon McMillin, Administrator of the WRBP, at (603) 934-4032.
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