Software tools enable energy savings at wastewater plant

U.S. Department of Energy's Industrial Technologies Program
Tags: energy management

Energy-efficiency improvements at the Metropolitan Syracuse Wastewater Treatment Plant in New York have reduced its energy costs by more than $200,000 annually.

For the Metropolitan Syracuse Wastewater Treatment Plant (Metro WWTP) in Onondaga County, New York, keeping up with the latest technologies in their wastewater treatment process is key to saving energy and money.

Metro WWTP provides wastewater treatment for 270,000 people and many industrial and commercial customers. A significant amount of energy is consumed while treating an average of 80 million gallons of wastewater daily. In order to improve efficiency at the plant, engineers began upgrading several wastewater treatment processes in 2004.

Utilizing two U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) BestPractices tools, MotorMaster+ and the Pumping System Assessment Tool (PSAT), Metro WWTP implemented a system-level project to improve energy efficiency and validate the pump maintenance program.

By retrofitting the motors on waste-activated sludge pumps with variable-frequency drives, installing a biological aeration filtration system instead of aeration blowers, and replacing 25-year-old low-lift impellers, Metro WWTP achieved the following:

  • A reduction in the number of 100-horsepower blowers from 21 to 13
  • A lower annual energy consumption of 2.81 million kilowatt-hours, resulting in a cost savings of $207,500
  • Better control of waste gas, reducing natural gas purchases by 270 MMBtu per year, for a cost savings of $1,500
  • Total implementation costs of $233,000 for a simple payback of 13 months

The analysis provided by the MotorMaster+ and PSAT tools helped Metro WWTP engineers decide how to optimize the wastewater treatment process – projects and methodologies that can be applied to virtually all wastewater treatment and industrial facilities that require water in their processes.

To learn more, read the full Metro WWTP Performance Spotlight, (PDF 233 KB) as well as others on the ITP Web site. Download Adobe Reader.

This article comes courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy's Industrial Technologies Program. For more information, visit

Partner Profile

Thomas W. Devine is a Qualified Pump System Specialist with more than 12 years of experience in the planning, design, construction, and start-up of the power distribution, control, and instrumentation systems that can be found in municipal, industrial, and commercial facilities. In his current role at Stearns & Wheler LLC, he specializes in process and energy audits and evaluations for municipalities and industrial plants.

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