On the Road: MABA executive director tours more plants in the region
WSSC Water Piscataway & New Bioenergy Facility and Lancaster Area Sewer Authority Facility

As you might recall, MABA’s recently appointed executive director, Mary Firestone, joined MABA Board members earlier this year for her first tours of facilities in the region including Capital Region Water of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Derry Township of Hershey, Pennsylvania. The first tours aided Mary in beginning to understand the world of wastewater treatment and biosolids, and she was eager to begin planning future tours to afford an even better grasp of the biosolids sector.

“It’s one thing to speak about the ideas and treatment processes, but I’ve always found myself to be much more of a hands-on learner,” she said, “Being able to see the facilities and watch it as it happens really brought it all together.”

And that understanding grew more still, as Mary and MABA Board members Anne Marek and John Uzupis, toured the WSSC Water Piscataway and construction for the new Bioenergy Facilities, as well as the Lancaster Area Sewer Authority in April. Malcolm Taylor, Principal Environmental Engineer for WSSC Water provided Mary with a complete tour of the current Piscataway facility as well as the construction process on the Bioenergy Facility, and Ed Lyle, Operations Chief, and Brian Wilcox, Plant Operations Director provided Mary, John, and Anne with a tour of the Lancaster Area Sewer Authority.

The Lancaster Area Sewer Authority (or LASA) currently owns, operates, and maintains a sanitary sewer system that serves approximately 40,000 customers representing about 125,000 citizens and 1,400 businesses located in nine Lancaster County municipalities.

“I read with interest about Mary’s recent tours, and reached out to offer a tour of our facility in Lancaster County,” said Mike Kyle, Executive Director of LASA. “We have a 15 MGD treatment plant with newly installed sludge handling that includes anaerobic digesters, an indirect sludge dryer, and covered storage.”

WSSC Water is transforming the way the Piscataway Water Resource Recovery Facility will handle waste from five existing water resource recovery facilities. The Piscataway Bioenergy Project - the largest and most technically advanced project ever constructed by WSSC Water - will use innovative technology to recover resources and produce green energy.

“Since the Piscataway WRRF is at the same location of the site of our Bioenergy Plant construction, I thought it would be a good opportunity for Mary to see what we are doing now and give her an idea of what we will be transitioning to,” said Malcolm Taylor, “The Piscataway Bioenergy Project will transform how WSSC Water handles biosolids, and is expected to lower operating costs by $3 million per year while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15%.”

The MABA Board and the executive director are eager to continue the plant tours in the coming months. If you are interested in sharing your facility with Mary and the MABA Board, please contact her at [email protected], or 845-901-7905.