Boulder City, Nev.
Released On: September 21, 2011
A successful project could reduce YDP operating costs by up to $245,000 per year. The plant uses lime in its pretreatment operations, and at full capacity can generate up to 131,000 tons of lime sludge per year. Reclamation maintains a system to dispose of this sludge, so if a process is developed to reuse it, the agency could avoid future costs of disposal, as well as costs to expand or rehabilitate the disposal facilities. The annualized capital savings could exceed $1 million per year.
The technology being evaluated is a type of cement which can contain/recycle up to 95% of a wide variety of industrial and post-consumer waste streams such as raw filler materials, including lime sludges, sewage sludges, brines, mercury wastes, Class C and F fly ash, and wood wastes. Part of the agreement includes Reclamation's Materials Engineering and Research Laboratory in Denver mixing samples into various formulations and then testing the formulations for durability and wearability.
Should the project be viable, it could more broadly benefit the nation's water treatment industry by helping to reduce operating costs and improve sustainability. Lime softening is used extensively in water treatment processes and is estimated to add 7-10% to the cost to treat the water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that water treatment facilities dispose of 6.8 million tons a year of sludge solids.
Assuming an Olympic-sized swimming pool holds 600,000 gallons, enough sludge is produced each year to fill 28,300 pools. Finding a way to recycle these waste materials into a commercially marketable resource can reduce the volume of material that needs to be disposed, enhancing the sustainability of water treatment technologies and helping Reclamation to achieve its water delivery mission and obligations.
To learn more about Reclamation's Research and Development Program, please visit http://www.usbr.gov/research and to learn more about how Reclamation is addressing advanced water treatment research needs, see http://www.usbr.gov/research/AWT.
DOI | Recreation.gov | USA.gov
Stay in touch with Reclamation: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Flickr | Tumblr | Instagram | RSS | Multimedia