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Pumping Wastewater Efficiently

Focus: Innovation


berlin siphon chamberSubmitted by: CMA Engineers, Inc.

Wastewater plants and drinking water systems are significant energy users. A 2009 EPA study states that they can account for up to one-third of a municipality’s total energy bill. Other reports have found water and wastewater systems are responsible for 3 – 4% of total U.S. electricity consumption, primarily due to the energy expended on the movement and treatment of wastewater. Rather than seeking complex solutions to the issue, a landfill wastewater system in New Hampshire sought to improve the efficiency of its facility through a familiar tool applied in an innovative manner.

A long, small diameter inverted siphon was constructed to deliver leachate from the Mt. Carberry Landfill — a regional municipal solid waste facility in Berlin, New Hampshire — to a local wastewater treatment facility. Compared to a leachate treatment facility that had been previously proposed, the siphon facility resulted in savings of both capital and annual O&M costs of about 65%. The Mt. Carberry Landfill facility is also sustainable, as it uses no energy and has no moving parts under normal operations. This project exemplifies the innovative application of conventional technology to solve a problem at significantly lower life-cycle cost.

Sources: Mt. Carberry Landfill Leachate Siphon, Berlin, NH

Energy Efficiency Opportunities in Municipal Water and Wastewater Treatment Facilities

Energy Efficiency Strategies for Municipal Wastewater Treatment Facilities

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