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June 13, 2021 10:49AM
June 13, 2021 10:49AM

customer care

Biosolids & Energy Recovery Facilities

Biosolids 05 2018


Construction of the Biosolids and Energy Recovery Facilities project has been mostly completed. Portions of the plant are online, but some of the plant's processes are still undergoing testing and fine-tuning before the facility is fully operational.

This state-of-the-art organics-handling system complements the District’s recycled water process by adding a second layer to the sewage treatment process. An anaerobic digestion process converts residual solids from the water recycling process into a reusable fertilizer and fuel. Biogas produced from the process provides a renewable source of energy to help power the facility.

The process begins when sludge from the adjacent Michelson Water Recycling Plant is pumped to the biosolids facility. The sludge is screened and then thickened by centrifuges to separate water from the solids.

From there, the sludge is sent to a two-phased digester system. The volatile solids are mostly converted to gas in the anaeroic digesters. Most of the gas produced is methane that will heat the digester system, be used as fuel for the pellet drum dryer, and as fuel for the micro-turbines to produce energy. The heat produced by the gas combustion is captured and used for heating the digestion process and some portions of the buildings.

The project reflects Irvine Ranch Water District’s commitment to sustainability, making good use of all byproducts from the recycled water process.

It also aligns with green and sustainable business practices, while at the same time establishing cost-effective management of sewage services for IRWD customers.

The facility is next to IRWD’s Michelson Water Recycling Plant at 3512 Michelson Drive, Irvine. It is part of a larger land area that encompasses about 452 acres and includes the San Joaquin Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary.

Contact information: For more information please email info@IRWD.com or call 949-453-5500.

What are Biosolids?

Biosolids are a nutrient rich natural by-product of converting wastewater into the recycled water used throughout Irvine for landscape irrigation. Biosolids are the organics removed during the sewer water treatment process. Biosolids contain energy that can be harnessed in two ways: as fertilizer or fuel.

Biosolids Pellets


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