The Clay County Utility Authority (CCUA) installed Neutralizer systems at each of its four wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) between 2006 and 2010. Neutralizer is BCR’s patented Class A residuals treatment system. This two-stage chemical system treats Waste Activated Sludge (WAS) and produces Class A residuals in a matter of hours.
Clay County Utility Authority (CCUA) owns four regional WWTPs in the Jacksonville, Florida area. CCUA’s plants were treating secondary sludge using aerobic digestion and subsequently hauling the Class B residuals either to land application or landfill.
In an effort to address escalating energy costs, odor issues, hauling and disposal costs, and stringent environmental regulations, CCUA sought out a Class A biosolids treatment solution at each of its four WWTPs. In 2006, CCUA commissioned a comprehensive engineering study, conducted by Mittauer & Associates, Inc., to evaluate the initial capital, operational, and maintenance costs alongiside qualitative benefits for commonly used Class A and Class B biosolids treatment options.
The study by Mittauer & Associates evaluated BCR’s Neutralizer solution alongside dryer systems, lime stabilization, anaerobic digestion, and Class B aerobic digestion. Based on the study, CCUA concluded that the Neutralizer system represented the most economical and environmentally responsible option.
The Neutralizer system is a simple two-stage chemical process that safely meets pathogen and vector attraction requirements as defined by the CFR 40 Part 503. Neutralizer is approved by the U.S. EPA as a Process to Further Reduce Pathogens (PFRP). The system requires a minimal footprint and can be easily integrated into a WWTPs existing infrastructure.
Every Neutralizer system is outfitted with a control system and monitoring devices to record process parameters and ensure consistent, repeatable Class A biosolids treatment.
CCUA installed Neutralizer systems at each of its four WWTPs, ranging from 2 MGD to 5 MGD average daily flow. The first was installed in 2006. The fourth in 2010.
Following installation of the fourth Neutralizer, 100% of CCUA’s biosolids met Class A/EQ standards as defined by the CFR 40 Part 503. CCUA’s residuals are registered as a commercial fertilizer with the Florida Department of Agriculture and distributed to local users.
The Neutralizer solution provided multiple advantages over CCUA’s previous residuals treatment system, including:
In addition, by avoiding digestion, Neutralizer enhanced CCUA’s nutrient removal, allowing the Authority to meet strict new standards for nutrient discharge.
Neutralizer treated biosolids are a nutrient rich fertilizer product registered as a commercial fertilizer with the Florida Department of Agriculture. Residuals are odor-free, and the pH can be adjusted to suit client needs. Neutralizer residuals have an extremely low P index (a measurement of phosphorous leachability). In a study performed by Penn State University, the Phosphorous Source Coefficient of Neutralizer residuals was 0.1.
BCR designed the Neutralizer systems at CCUA to be highly automated and simple to operate. Each Neutralizer system is operated and monitored from a single control panel. This reduction in complexity led to reduced biosolids management operating costs at CCUA.
In 2009, CCUA conducted an internal analysis of the Neutralizer’s annual operating cost compared to actual annual operating costs of digestion and hauling. The chart to the right depicts the annual operating cost savings associated with the Neutralizer systems at three of CCUA’s WWTPs.
The Neutralizer systems at CCUA have over 100,000 hours of operating time, reliably treating many millions of pounds of biosolids with consistent results.
BCR’s Neutralizer systems rely on chemistry rather than on energy-intensive treatment with digesters, dryers, incinerators, or gasifiers. The entire Neutralizer process was designed using energy efficient equipment to minimize electrical consumption. The complete Neutralizer system requires 90-95% less energy than other Class A biosolids treatment options. In 2009, CCUA conducted an internal energy audit at three of their WWTPs to analyze the energy cost savings of their Neutralizer systems compared to their previous aerobic digestion process. The chart to the right depicts CCUA’s actual energy cost savings associated with the operation of their Neutralizer systems.