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Development Criteria in the Age of Sustainability – DC Water’s New Paradigm for Biosolids and Energy Management
Author: Perry Schafer, Walt Bailey, Sudhir Murthy, Martin Sultan, Chris Peot, Ernest Jolly, Phil Braswell, John Willis and Alan Cooper
Date: 1/211
Preprint, WEFTEC 2010, New Orleans, LA, October 2-6, 2010

The DC Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) is implementing new sludge and biosolids processing facilites at the 1.4 million cubic meters/day (370 million gallons per day [mgd]) Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant (AWTP) in Washington D.C. The program involves thermal hydrolysis (TH) followed by anaerobic digsetion and includes a major cogeneration facility to provide electric power for the treatment plant and steam for the TH process. Decision and development criteria for DC Water’s biosolids program have evolved over recent years and now include a broad range of factors with strong emphasis on sustainability criteria. A major link between high-performance digestion and renewable energy production has been forged. Key criteria for decision-making now include renewable power and energy production, climate change issues, biosolids product quality, digestion performance, and site efficiency, as well as capital constraints and economics.