KC Water has started construction on a new renewable resource facility, the Blue River Biosolids Improvements Facility. This new $150 million facility will be better for the environment by eliminating the use of incinerators to process waste as well as providing a reusable resource. When completed in 2024 it will be the largest facility in the Midwest and one of only nine in the United States.
KC Water has eliminated the use of incinerators that burned waste solids and produced harmful air pollutants as well as ash that was in landfills. The new facility will use a process called thermal hydrolysis to turn sludge into biosolids. This will be the only facility in the Midwest using this innovative process.
“KC Water is continuously seeking new methods to reduce both the cost and environmental impact of our operations,” said KC Water Deputy Director Matt Bond. “This new approach eliminates an antiquated waste processing technique and not only produces a reusable product, but also improves air quality throughout the region.”
This highly innovative technology produces two products, biosolids and biogas. The product can be used safely as a soil conditioner and as fertilizer on farms.
“It breaks down the solids so you have less storage needed, which saves the City money and it produces a biosolids that can be applied on land. This will be a big improvement,” said Suzie Carpenter with Black and Veatch, the primary design firm on the project.
The biogas that comes from the process can also be used as an energy source.
“The City can produce electricity from this process. They can produce biomethane and power a fleet of clean gas vehicles…there are many uses for that,” said Dr. Julian Sandino with Jacobs, part of the team serving as the City’s owner’s agent.