The Bath wastewater treatment plant recently got a notice of violation from the Department of Environmental Conservation. But it turns out that violation is actually part of a bigger plan the village of Bath has in store. Megan Zhang shares how the plant is trying to go green.
BATH, N.Y. -- The Bath wastewater treatment plant recently got in some trouble. The facility is licensed to accept 6,000 gallons of sewage daily, but it's been taking in twice that amount.
"We see this not as a negative, but as a positive, it's a way to improve our standard operating procedures and it's a way to improve the operation here," said Guy Hallgren, director of municipal utilities in Bath.
It turns out the kind of waste the plant was taking in too much of was high-nutrient waste. And Bath has big plans for the plant that involve just that. The plant may be violating regulations now, but by this time next year, it could need that extra waste. This plant is about to turn into a resource recovery hub. It'll take high-nutrient waste and convert it into energy.
"We view waste as a recoverable entity, which there's resources in still prior to going into the river. So we're going to capture the high-nutrient waste, the waste we're being restricted on now, will become something that we need in the future. And we will generate energy from that waste," said Hallgren.
The facility will cost over $15 million to convert, but the project will quickly pay for itself in 10 years time by helping the village save money.
"It reduces our operational expense, it increases our revenues coming in, and what it does ultimately is it stabilizes the rates for the taxpayers in the village," he said.
The village will be setting an example on how to go green.