BCR Featured Project
Neutralizer® – Haines City, Florida
In 2012, Haines City, Florida, installed BCR’s Neutralizer system at its 3 MGD wastewater treatment plant to upgrade from Class B biosolids to a Class A/EQ fertilizer product. Following installation of the Neutralizer solution, Haines City has experienced significant cost savings and expanded beneficial reuse options for its fertilizer product.
In 2012, the Haines City wastewater treatment plant, serving the City’s businesses and 20,000 residents, upgraded from its previous aerobic digestion operations to BCR’s Neutralizer system. Previously, the plant treated secondary sludge through aerobic digestion and subsequently hauled the Class B residuals to a landfill or land application site.
Haines City faced several challenges, including escalating energy costs, odor issues, digester capacity issues, and stringent environmental regulations. In addition, the City faced limited financial resources and a lack of capital for process enhancements. After an evaluation process, Haines City installed the Neutralizer system to address these challenges.
The Neutralizer® Solution
Neutralizer is BCR’s patented Class A/EQ residuals treatment solution. This two-stage chemical system treats Waste Activated Sludge (WAS) and produces Class A/EQ residuals in a matter of hours. Neutralizer is approved by the U.S. EPA as a Process to Further Reduce Pathogens (PFRP).
Neutralizer has become the most installed Class A/EQ solution in Florida because it is simple, safe, environmentally responsible, and cost effective for wastewater treatment plants of almost any size.
Haines City Project Summary
BCR Provided Haines City with a design-build Neutralizer biosolids treatment solution to upgrade to Class A/EQ residuals. The solution consisted of a dual-train Neutralizer system with a centrifuge for sludge dewatering. Installation of the Neutralizer system was completed in late 2011, and full-scale operations began in early 2012.
- Haines City’s residuals now meet Class A/EQ standards.
- Treated residuals can be registered as a commercial fertilizer with the Florida Department of Agriculture.
- The City avoided capital expenditures of $2.75 million for digester rehabilitation and dewatering equipment.
- Neutralizer reduced total annual biosolids treatment and disposition costs by around $133,000 per year over the next 20 years. This number includes costs for the Neutralizer equipment purchase.
- The City reduced energy costs for biosolids treatment by around 97% compared to previous aerobic digestion operations.
- Odors at Haines City’s WWTP have been substantially reduced. The facility is virtually odor free.
Through value engineering, BCR was able to deliver a solution that met Haines City’s objective of producing a Class A/EQ product while meeting the City’s financial goals.
After installing the Neutralizer system, Haines City upgraded its end product from Class B biosolids to a Class A/EQ fertilizer. Haines City is in the process of registering its nutrient-rich Neutralizer residuals as a commercial fertilizer with the Florida Department of Agriculture. Residuals are free from foul odors, and the pH can be adjusted to suit the needs of the fertilizer customers. Neutralizer residuals meet the strict nutrient and pollutant limits of the State of Florida and have an extremely low Phosphorus Source Coefficient (a measurement of phosphorus leachability). In a study performed by Penn State University, the Phosphorus Source Coefficient of Neutralizer residuals was 0.1.
Haines City Cost Savings
BCR conducted an analysis of the total project costs of Haines City’s Neutralizer system. The analysis demonstrated an estimated cumulative operating cost savings of $4.8 million over the initial 20-year project period. Net savings to the City, including financing costs for the Neutralizer system and avoided capital costs for digester upgrades, are estimated at $2.8 million over the 20-year period. This cost savings translates to a $1.8 million present value economic benefit based on a 20-year Net Present Value.
Haines City Energy Performance
Projected energy costs at Haines City dropped 97%, from an average approximately $333,000 per year to approximately $9,000 per year with Neutralizer. The Neutralizer system relies on chemistry rather than on energy-intensive treatment with digesters, dryers, incinerators, or gasifiers. The entire process is designed using energy efficient equipment to minimize electrical consumption. Process automation maximizes energy efficiency every time the system operates.
Haines City Neutralizer® Media Coverage
The Haines City Neutralizer project was supported by the media and the local community. See the following links to media coverage and talks given at the facility’s grand opening ceremony:
- Better Recipe – Treatment Plant Operator Magazine, January 2013
- Wastewater Plant Saves Money – NewsChief, October 2012
- Haines City Wastewater Facility Uses Automated Process And is Odorless – The Ledger, May 2013
- Haines City Neutralizer Grand Opening – Pamala Vazquez, FDEP
- Haines City Neutralizer Grand Opening – Aaron Zahn, BCR