December 20, 2014

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French Creek adjusts plant to save $145,000 per year

SHEFFIELD — French Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant is “fine-tuning” its equipment — a move North Ridgeville’s Safety Service Director said will save money.

The bio digester tank, left, and another tank are seen Feb. 14, 2012, on the grounds of the French Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Safety Service Director Jeff Armbruster said approximately $145,000 annually could be saved by taking two digesters out of service. Changes will be made to the treatment plant’s centrifuge and the way sludge, or treated human waste, is processed.

Armbruster said the changes will benefit French Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant and its partnership with Quasar Energy Group, a company that hauls the sludge away from the plant, which is owned by North Ridgeville but located in Sheffield.

With the new procedure, which will be implemented in October or November, treated sludge will be pumped to Quasar’s facility on the treatment facility’s site.

Armbruster said the waste, which will be processed less, will benefit Quasar because it will contain more methane gas. The gas will then be converted to energy at Quasar’s facility.

“It was always intended to do this,” he said.

He added that the finished product will be a “slurry,” or liquid-solid mixture, rather than a cake.

The building changes will cost approximately $1.66 million, which will be funded through the treatment plant’s budget.

Armbruster said he did not believe the changes at French Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant influenced Quasar’s decision to forgo a controversial human waste storage lagoon in Pittsfield Township. The plans to update French Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant have been in the works for a while, he said.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.