Wastewater is generated by residences, businesses and industries in the community, and treated at our two wastewater treatment facilities. T.Z. Osborne Water Reclamation Facility has the capacity to treat 40 million gallons per day (mgd), while North Buffalo Creek Water Reclamation Facility can treat 16 mgd. The fluidized bed incinerator replacement project is nearly complete at the T.Z. Osborne Water Reclamation facility. The equipment is an integral component in the daily disposal of waste.
To understand the importance of this piece of equipment, it helps to first have a basic understanding of the process. Wastewater treatment is a multi-stage process to remove contaminants from wastewater before it is discharged into a body of water, applied to land, or reused. This unique process is directly modeled after natural stream conditions. For example, in a typical stream, flow rates vary within the stream itself, along with the number of naturally occurring microscopic plants, animals and organisms that feed on polluted particles. As they feed on the pollutants, the water is eventually cleared of contaminants. The goal of wastewater treatment is to remove or reduce organic matter, solids, nutrients, disease-causing organisms and other pollutants from wastewater. To learn more, view the wastewater treatment process.
By the end of this complicated process, the settled solids, known as sludge, are removed and incinerated. The sludge produced from both wastewater facilities flows into a fluidized bed incinerator located at the T.Z. Osborne Facility, and the ash remaining is hauled to the City sanitary landfill for disposal. The purpose of the incineration process is to reduce the quantity of material for disposal and to convert it to a form which has the least amount of health and environmental impacts.
Purchased in 1996, the old incineration unit had reached the end of its design life resulting in the need for replacement. This piece of equipment is critical in the wastewater treatment process, and replacement is a beneficial step in maintaining cost efficiency in the daily operations of the facility.