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Success Stories

Energy Efficient Sewer Treatment Coupled with Environmental Balance

Dawn Bonsell

The Milton Regional Sewer Authority (MRSA) needed to improve and expand their existing sewer treatment plant. The Pennsylvania Department of  Environmental Protection (DEP) mandated that all communities in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed comply with new lower standards for release of nitrogen and phosphorus into streams.  USDA Rural Development provided a $34,132,400 WEP direct loan funded with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds and  $28,026,900 WEP loans.  USDA funding leveraged with PA H20 Grant of $5,000,000 and PA DEP grant of $375,000. Total Project Cost of $64,507,400.

The project will provide a state-of-the-art green sewer treatment plant—an energy efficient, regionalized solution to the problem of sewage treatment, coupled with environmental balance. Two methane digesters are being constructed. The methane will be fed into gas fired generators and will make slightly more $1000 a day of usable electricity. The surplus will be sold back to the grid to offset the cost of their electricity use. 

The waste heat from the generators will be directed to pressed sludge which provides an end product that is marketable as fertilizer and does not require landfill disposal (slightly more than $400,000 a year savings). MRSA will serve 5,608 residences—four municipalities in Milton as well as neighboring municipalities. It also serves ConAgra Foods®, a large food processing plant. The waste from the ConAgra Foods® plant lends itself to anaerobic treatment, which produces biogas. MRSA will use the biogas to produce electricity and heat for the plant, while ConAgra will save on hauling/landfill costs. The project will help clean up the Chesapeake Bay, reduce landfill dumping, create renewable energy, promote regionalization of sewage treatment and   promote job retention and creation.  Capacity will be increased from 3.42 MGD to 4.25 MFG and nutrient reduction will be added to comply with Chesapeake Bay Watershed requirements. 


Obligation Amount:
$34,132,400 WEP ARRA Loan, $28,026,900 WEP Loans
Year(s) of Obligation:
Congressional District: