GR, Wyoming Agree On Biosolids

April 22, 2003
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GRAND RAPIDS — Wyoming Mayor Douglas Hoekstra Jr. and Grand Rapids Mayor John Logie are scheduled to sign an agreement this morning that outlines a joint regional biosolids management project. City officials selected today for the signing because it is Earth Day.

The $79 million project will convert both cities’ biosolids into a biosolid product suitable for reuse.

Plans call for construction of a joint treatment facility at the city’s plant on Market Avenue SW and a pipeline to transport sewage from Wyoming’s treatment plant four miles away.

The cities would share the estimated $31 million cost of the new treatment facility through a joint capital bond project, said Grand Rapids Deputy City Manager Eric DeLong.

Private investors would construct, finance and operate a $48 million plant with the sewage processing system that turns biosolids into pellets, and the pellets would then be sold either as fertilizer or fuel.

Grand Rapids and Wyoming staff have been working on the project for more than 18 months, DeLong noted. He said the Grand Rapids and Wyoming sewage treatment plants were at the same point in their development and needed a good plan for the disposal of biosolids. After evaluating several alternatives, including heat drying, composting and landfilling of biosolids, the team chose a technology that de-waters and heat-dries primary and secondary treated sewage.

“We selected a Class A technology — the very best possible technology we could use — to provide beneficial reuse for our biosolids product,” DeLong said. “This is something that we could not accomplish on our own. It’s really a remarkable partnership opportunity with a neighboring community.”

The Grand Rapids and Wyoming sewage systems serve 18 communities.           

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