Oneida County Sewer District updates green milestones
As people around the world celebrate Earth Day, the Oneida County Sewer District and “Operation Ripple Effect” shared an update on the green milestones reached during their mission to rehabilitate our aging sewer system, stop sanitary sewer overflows, and keep the Mohawk River clean.
Major infrastructure upgrades and rehabilitation at the county’s Water Pollution Control Plant, including the installation equipment that allows the plant to generate its own power.
In 2019, the plant decommissioned its incinerators, reducing emissions released through the sludge-burning process, and now exclusively runs a pair of anaerobic digesters. These digesters process wastewater sludge and separated food waste from the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority – the food scraps are diverted from the landfill as part of the Food2Energy program – these materials are then processed into methane.
The methane is channeled through microturbines, which spin and produce 600kW of electricity. The spinning motion of the microturbines generates its own heat, which is then utilized to warm several buildings at the plant. A grant from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation will fund the installation of two additional microturbines. This will increase power production to 1,000kW by the end of 2022.
A private property infiltration/inflow program that encourages homeowners to take steps that prevent excess rain water from getting into the sewer system in order to combat sewage overflows during weather events or heavy snowmelt.
There will be a drop-off event Saturday, April 23, featuring paper shredding and pharmaceutical collection. Improperly disposing of unwanted medications – such as flushing them down the toilet – is not good for the environment; improper disposal can also increase the risk of accidental poisoning, misuse, and overdose.
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