U.S. Water Team Identifies Significant Savings for the City of Mercedes

City of Mercedes check to USW Utility Group

U.S. Water has been providing operations and maintenance (O&M) services for the City of Mercedes’ water and wastewater facilities, including a 5.0 million gallons per day (MGD) activated sludge extended air oxidation ditch wastewater treatment and a 5.5 MGD conventional surface water plant and ground water well.

In an effort to optimize wastewater treatment facilities and identify cost savings opportunities for the client, the U.S. Water team executed a comprehensive sludge optimization strategy. The project included cleaning of the recycle basin to eliminate old sludge, thereby maintaining a reservoir of fresh sludge that is easier to remove. To optimize the sludge removal process, a sump pump was strategically installed in the recycle basin, ensuring water levels remained low between haulings, allowing tankers to efficiently extract sludge without unnecessary water content. Additionally, the project involved upgrading the processes of two existing dewatering bins. The introduction of polymer in the updated procedures enhanced the retention of solids, significantly improving the overall efficiency of sludge disposal.

U.S. Water’s efforts resulted in a noteworthy achievement as a check of $211,190.49 was presented back to the City, showcasing substantial cost savings in sludge handling. The City intends to leverage these reclaimed funds to elevate the facility’s capabilities by channeling them into the engineering and design of an advanced solids dewatering facility at the water treatment plant.

The success of this project was a collaborative effort involving key City stakeholders, the U.S. Water operations team. Together, they strategically identified high industrial loads to the wastewater treatment plant, prompting an update to the City ordinance. This adjustment successfully reduced industry loadings, consequently minimizing the amount of sludge processed by the plant.

U.S. Water has been providing O&M services for the City since the commencement of the contract in January 2021. This contract, structured as a five-year agreement with renewal options, demonstrates the long-term commitment and dedication of U.S. Water to the City of Mercedes.

This project exemplifies the power of collaboration and innovative solutions in the water utility sector, showcasing how strategic planning and technology upgrades can result in substantial cost savings and optimized wastewater treatment for municipalities.