| Published in: Company, Industry, Recognition

Published Article in Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association – News from Our Members February 2016 Features Lancaster Area Sewer Authority

  • Rendering of Pump

Late in 2015, Lancaster Area Sewer Authority (LASA) and Buchart Horn, a full-service international engineering and architectural firm, broke ground on a $26.8 million biosolids upgrade and improvement project in Lancaster, PA.

Michael A. Kyle, LASA Executive Director was PMAA’s president in 2005. The facility, which already meets EPA standards, is beginning the upgrade as a voluntary, proactive project to reduce its environmental footprint. The project will result in Class A biosolids which is PA’s highest standard.

“This is a significant project – not only because of its significant construction cost of $26.8 million, but also because of its importance in furthering the Board’s mission – to provide quality service at reasonable cost, and two of our strategic initiatives – to promote substantiality and encourage environmental stewardship,” said Barry Smith, LASA’s board chairman. “We carefully planned, studied, and evaluated biosolids processing alternatives. In the end, we are confident our final selection of anaerobic digestion coupled with heat drying and biogas will provide a sound return on the Authority’s investment dollars and will result in a financially sustainable and environmentally friendly method of handling and distributing our biosolids product – making what was in the past a nuisance into a resource to be recovered and reused.”

The upgrade and expansion will include adding anaerobic digesters and a biosolids (organic matter) dryer. The anaerobic digesters will help to stabilize biosolids while producing methane gas. The gas produced is then used to heat the digesters and the biosolids dryer.

The biosolids dryer will exceed EPA standards for stabilizing biosolids, which will allow the biosolids to be safely reused. The efficiency of these upgrades will result in reducing the environmental impact of the facility.

“This project is positive for the environment, for local jobs, and for this community,” said Brian Funkhouser, president of Buchart Horn, which will serve as the project manager of the upgrade and final expansion. “We’re proud to be a part of a project that promotes sustainability and innovative thinking for the betterment of the entire region.”

About LASA
LASA currently owns, operates and maintains a sanitary sewer system that serves approximately 37,000 customers representing about 100,000 citizens and 1,300 businesses located in eight Lancaster County municipalities including East Hempfield Township, West Hempfield Township, Lancaster Township, Manor Township, Manheim Township, East Petersburg Borough, Mountville Borough, and Columbia Borough. The LASA system includes approximately 560 miles of pipeline, 38 pumping stations and a treatment facility designed to treat 15 million gallons of wastewater per day. The guiding principle of the Authority is to provide quality service and apply technology to process wastewater so as to protect and enhance the environment, health, and well-being of the community at a reasonable cost. www.

About Buchart Horn
Buchart Horn, Inc. is a full-service, international engineering and architectural firm with 15 offices throughout the Eastern United States and Western Europe. As one of the first professional consulting companies to combine engineering and architecture under one roof, Buchart Horn’s professional services focus on three crucial areas essential to every community: Water Resources (water and wastewater treatment systems, and strategies to protect and improve our natural environment); Architecture (designing the buildings where we live, work, learn, and play); and Transportation (highways, bridges and airports). Celebrating its 70th year in business in 2015, clients range from local, county, state, and federal governments to large and small private sector clients. www.bucharthorn. com

Biosolids are the nutrient-rich treated organic materials generated from wastewater treatment. When treated and processed, they can be recycled and applied as fertilizer to improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth. Depending on the type of treatment received, biosolids can be from 2% to 95% solids, anywhere from a thick liquid to a dry pellet form. Biosolids are carefully monitored and must be used in accordance with regulatory requirements.

Biosolids vs. Sewage Sludge
The terms biosolids and sewage sludge are often used interchangeably. When properly treated and processed, sewage sludge becomes biosolids.
EPA defines sewage sludge as the solids separated during the treatment of municipal wastewater. The definition includes domestic septage (residuals from on-lot septic tanks). EPA defines biosolids as treated sewage sludge that meets the EPA pollutant and pathogen requirements for land application and surface disposal.

You will see the term sewage sludge used in the context of regulations, as EPA has established a protective regulatory framework to manage the use and disposal of sewage sludge. Biosolids can be recycled and applied as fertilizer to improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth. Effective sewage sludge and biosolids management options help ensure that useful materials are recycled on land and harmful materials are not released to water bodies or the environment.

A .pdf copy of the article is here.