Portland’s East End Wastewater Treatment Facility Now Online
(PORTLAND, ME – June 26, 2018) – The Portland Water District recently held a ribbon cutting at its East End Wastewater Treatment Facility to celebrate the completion of the $12 million upgrade to the plant.
Both DEP Commissioner Paul Mercer and Efficiency Maine’s Deputy Director Peter Eglinton were there to applaud the project and praise the plant’s operational efficiency and positive impact on the environment. Also on site were project partners and stakeholders.
The $12 million aeration system upgrade, designed by Hazen and Sawyer, delivers significant benefits to Casco Bay and the community. By replacing the 36-year old system, the plant was able to increase operational performance and efficiencies, particularly during wet weather events, continue compliance with permit conditions, and reduce odors associated with the process.
The Portland Water District recognizes concerns over nutrients and the modernization of the plant has also allowed PWD to proactively optimize processes and set a goal to reduce total nitrogen by 20-40% in the effluent entering Casco Bay. Nitrogen, which is found in sewage, stormwater, fertilizers, and the air, can contribute to harmful algal blooms. Early water quality monitoring results have been promising.
The aeration project replaced mechanical surface aerators with a modern process that diffuses air more efficiently from the bottom of the tanks. The aeration process now uses 10,000, 9-inch diffusers and holds 4.2 million gallons of wastewater. Efficiency Maine has recognized the project’s energy efficiency with a $200,000 grant.
The East End Wastewater Treatment Facility was constructed in 1979. It processes 20 million gallons of wastewater a day and prevents 8,700,000 pounds of pollution from entering the bay per a year.