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New Biosolids Dryer at Metro to Reduce Waste Sent to Landfills

Onondaga County and WEP continue to work towards their goal of savings and sustainability with its latest project to install a new drying system at the Metro Wastewater Treatment Plant in Syracuse.


Biosolids are the organic solid materials filtered out of wastewater. The Metro Solids Management Facility was originally constructed in 1959 and serves as the solids disposal facility for Metro and 4 other WEP treatment plants. These solids are dewatered with centrifuges (like the spin cycle on your washing machine) to get rid of some moisture before the biosolids are hauled to landfills.


Each year, Metro produces about 37,000 wet tons of dewatered biosolids (aka sludge). About 70% of that weight is from water that wasn't removed from the centrifuges. That weight increases the cost of transportation and disposal.


By investing in drying technology, WEP further reduced the water weight. It's estimated that these dryers could reduct the water content to just 10%, resulting in significant savings in transportation and disposal fees.


In addition to the cost-saving benefits, the dryers increase the quality of the biosolids which allow a greater flexibility in their reusability that includes soil applications.

Dryer Building Blueprint

An overview and blueprint of the new biosolids building at Metro

Dryer Technology that is similar to what is being installed at Metro

Equipment similar to what will be installed at Metro

Getting ready for construction at the site of Metro's new biosolids building

Crews are getting ready for construction of Metro's new biosolids building. If you enjoy walking Onondaga Lake's Loop the Lake trail, you'll have a front row seat as it progresses!


Metro Digester Project Aims to Increase and Reuse Biogas

The Metropolitan Syracuse Wastewater Treatment Plant (Metro) located on Hiawatha Boulevard West in Syracuse is WEP's largest wastewater treatment facility, serving over 270,000 residents along with industrial and commercial users. On average, the Metro plant treats 84 million gallons of wastewater every day.


As part of the treatment process, Metro uses bacteria to feed on organic matter in the wastewater (anaerobic digestion). A byproduct of this is called biogas, which is made mostly of methane. The digesters are the equipment that facilitate the anaerobic digestion process. Passersby can usually spot a digester by its torch on top. The flames are a signal that the plant is buring off biogas.


The Digester Improvement Project currently underway is upgrading and rehabilitating all major digestion equipment and aims to increase biogas production by installing a new cover on one of the digesters. This, along with new biogas storage, will allow WEP to use the stored biogas to heat and power portions of the Metro facility.

Timelapse video taken in July 2021 of construction on new Metro digesters



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