EVERETT, Wash. – Everett’s wastewater treatment plant, or Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF), saved over 10,400,000 total net kilowatt hours (kWh) and avoided total energy costs near $830,000 over the course of a three-year energy savings program that has now concluded.
“The accumulated energy savings is remarkable – it’s equivalent to the annual energy use of 920 Snohomish County homes,” said Jeff Marrs, operations superintendent. “The credit goes to the wastewater staff whose innovative spirit and dedication to pursuing energy savings will mean the energy-saving measures implemented through this program are practices that can be sustained into the future.”
The plant has now successfully completed the Snohomish County PUD Wastewater Energy Coaching Cohort program, started in 2017, that works in partnership with local municipal wastewater facilities to improve energy efficiency and conservation to existing equipment and future expansions.
As a result of the City’s performance in the program, the team was awarded close to $200,000 in program incentives.
“Everett experienced the most energy savings of any of our participants, by far,” said PUD Commissioner Toni Olson. “The City’s commitment to sustainable energy practices resulted in this tremendous achievement.”
Staff used a variety of energy saving measures
Snohomish County PUD and its partner, Energy Systems Industrial (ESI), assisted Everett wastewater staff in examining and analyzing energy use throughout their facilities, training staff on how to implement energy-efficient actions, review decision‐making and wastewater processes using an energy‐efficient lens. Based on this support, the facility was able to implement some high‐impact changes.
Energy-saving measures were implemented in lagoon aeration, reduced flow of reuse water, an upgrade to LED lighting, adjusted area thermostats and optimization of the plant’s outfall pumping strategy. In the first year of the program, plant staff were able to reduce annual energy usage by nearly three million kilowatt hours (kWh), which translated into more than $220,000 in annual energy savings. By comparison, most participating groups only saw a 5‐10 percent change in the first year, whereas the WPCF saw a 19.2 percent change.
During the program, WPCF staff attended training workshops, reviewed Everett plant processes, challenged assumptions and identified specific functions to evaluate for potential energy savings. The plant was able to achieve significant energy savings, meet all environmental requirements and earn the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) Peak Gold Medal Performance Award three years in a row (2016, 2017, 2018).
More information about Everett’s wastewater treatment is available at everettwa.gov/wastewater