By the Meridian Public Works Department
The City of Meridian has assertively stepped up to the challenges of incorporating sustainability concepts into a variety of our Public Works projects. The Public Works Department has positioned itself strategically to emphasize financial and environmental sustainability in our programs and projects while including our citizens in a wide variety of work groups and steering committees to help guide and support the way we manage our community’s resources and the services we provide.
For example, the Public Works Department has set forth the goal to create a Wastewater Treatment and Reclamation Facility that is self-sustaining, utilizing closed-loop systems to recycle and/or reuse the waste byproducts and incorporate energy conservation technologies where possible. This facility processes and treats about five million gallons of wastewater every day – and as a result – is our largest user of power within our Public Works Department’s utilities.
To date, we have achieved significant greenhouse gas reduction and energy savings through the following projects:
· Blower energy usage is typically one of the largest energy consumers in an aerobic wastewater treatment process. With the aid of an Energy Efficiency Grant, we replaced the existing blowers with newer more efficient turbo blower with an estimated energy savings of 250,000 KWh to 300,000 kWh annually and projected annual cost savings of $48,000.
· We have replaced selected street lights with more efficient LED lighting on main corridors resulting in a reduction of 75,000 kWh and an estimated cost reduction of $6,000 annually with an additional expected reduction of 31 metric tons in greenhouse gasses.
· New energy-efficient lighting was installed at the Wastewater Treatment Facility resulting in projected yearly electricity saving of 70,000 to 80,000 kWh and an annual cost reduction of $5,000 - $6,000.
· Most recently, we installed tubular daylighting devices in our filtration buildings, providing natural light as an alternative to electric lights during the daytime. These devices are not regular skylights. The raised domes capture and diffuse natural daylight throughout the buildings with superior illumination efficiency and energy efficiency. There were 46 fixtures installed and are projected to save over 19,000 kWh per year resulting in an annual savings of $1,300.
While there are challenges in the production, distribution, treatment and reclamation of our water and reuse of its byproducts, our Department remains focused on providing modern and reliable facilities that emphasize financial stewardship and environmental sustainability for our customers.