The Orange County Sanitation Districts board of directors has given tentative approval to a $23-million capital improvement project expected to reduce air emissions by 60% and reduce the need to buy electricity to run sewage treatment systems, an official said.
The four-year project calls for replacement of 25 internal-combustion engines with more efficient electric motors to power pumping systems at the districts' two plants in Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach, according to Corinne Clawson, the districts' public information officer.
Engines now in use are fueled by gas --known as "digester gas"--produced in the sewage treatment process. During periods of low sewage flow, there is a buildup of surplus gas, most of which is burned off as waste.
Clawson said the new, clean-burning engines will eliminate most of the waste and reduce the districts' need to buy supplemental electricity. At least four new motors would be added, along with the gradual replacement of old engines.