Veteran solar installer Parkson Corporation is lending its expertise to a new wastewater treatment plant upgrade for the town of Berlin near the Maryland coast. When it’s finished, the new plant will almost eliminate the use of fossil fuels for drying and converting biosolids, also known as sludge, into a lightweight Class A soil amendment or sustainable fuel. The process is pushed along by a stainless steel “Electric Mole” that automaticaly mixes, aerates, and granulates the sludge as it dries.
The $16 million upgrade project is funded by ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act). Parkson’s Thermo-System Active Solar Sludge Drying Chambers will enable the sludge conversion process to operate under more than 90% solar power rather than using gas or oil. For disposing sludge in landfills, that translates into a significant savings in preparation and transportation costs. Even better, it makes sludge products more cost-competitive with conventional soil amendments and fossil fuels, effectively taking the “waste” out of wastewater.