Biosolids & Energy Recovery Facilities

Biosolids & Energy Recovery Facilities

The Biosolids Energy & Recovery Facilities Project integrates a new state-of-the-art organics-handling system at the Michelson Water Recycling Plant. This new system includes biosolids processing, biogas management, and energy recovery systems. The system makes efficient and sustainable use of locally generated renewable resources by creating a beneficial use of biosolids and biogases that are produced during the wastewater treatment/recycling process. This project aligns with green and sustainable business practices, while at the same time creating an effective cost management of wastewater services for IRWD customers.Total Resource Management

The project is co-located at the existing MWRP, at 3512 Michelson Drive, Irvine, CA 92612. The biosolids project is being constructed within a 4.6-acre rectangular-shaped site adjacent to the MWRP. The MWRP is part of a larger property owned by IRWD, which is approximately 452 acres and includes the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary.

Contact information: For questions or concerns, please email info@irwd.com or call 949-453-5500. For emergencies during non business hours please call 949-453-5300 (24 hours).

 

What are Biosolids?
 
Biosolids Pellets

 

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 water treatment process. Biosolids contain energy that can be harnessed in two ways: the biosolds undergo further biological and heat treatment to be converted into pellets. Pellets may be used for fertilizer or an e-fuel. The biological treatment also produces biogas that will be used to generate electricity.

 

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Project Updates+

Week of April 12, 2017:

Good progress has been made in the past month. Steel panels were installed on the methane digesters, elevated walkways and digester tower, where the elevator was also installed. Fabrication of two pellet silos is underway. Over the next several months, work will be focused on the centrifuges and odor control system.

Week of March 12, 2018:

To date, piping and supports have been installed in Digester No. 1. Knee pipe support and sump plumbing have been installed in Digester No. 3. Plumbing is being installed in the Digester Control Building. 

Week of June 12, 2017:

The Solids Handling Building is quickly taking shape as the pre-finished metal panels are being installed on the upper areas. Other work in the Solids Handling Building includes the installation of the roof decking, the electrical circuits to the thickening centrifuges, the large motor control center for the dryer, structural steel for the dryer, as well as the large air ducts and the liquid chemical facilities. Site work such as storm drains, catch basins, light poles, and water pipes are being installed and tested so that curbs, gutters, and paving may occur in the near future. 

Week of June 19, 2017:

At the methane digester complex, eight and 10-inch digested sludge and eight-inch cool methane sludge piping and supports are being installed on digester #1. At digester #3, knee pipe supports and sump plumbing are being installed and exterior scaffolding is being removed.

Week of June 5, 2017:

The contractor worked on the piping installation in the tunnel at Methane Digester No. 1. Pipe supports are being installed in the digester control building. Exposed conduit is being installed in the centrate treatment tanks.Various equipment was wired in the dewatering feed pump station basement. The FOG tanks are undergoing leak testing.

Week of May 22, 2017:

The new SCADA system integrator successfully performed a witnessed bench test of the computer programs to control the odor control chemical pumps. Various items currently being installed include power and control wiring for the thickening centrifuges, polymer control systems, odor control instruments, storm drain catch basins, light poles and duct banks, green metal panels on the exterior of the Solids Handling Building, gas piping on top of the acid digesters, insulation foam on the exterior of the last methane digester, sludge piping in the methane digester tunnels, support structures for the sludge dryer system, and piping at centrate treatment. The microturbines and biogas treatment equipment has been delivered and is being installed. The contractor successfully pressure tested the natural gas lines to the boilers, flare, microturbines, and dryer.

Week of May 8, 2017:

Sandblasting, painting, piping installation taking place at the methane digester complex, digester control building, acid phase digesters and centrate tanks. Electrical work underway at digester gas conditioning, and dewatering feed pump station.

Week of April 24, 2017:

The contractor sandblasted the exterior of the Methane Digester No. 3 and worked on the piping installation in the tunnel. The microturbines were delivered to the site last week. At the solids handling building, the decking was installed on the canopies on the south side of the building. At the biosolids site, the contractor set the concrete formwork and reinforcing steel for the curb opening catch basin in north road. Removable bollards were installed  at the liquid chemical storage truck slab.

Week of April 10, 2017:

The contractor installed the acid gas piping and appurtenances on top of each of the three acid phase digesters. Scaffolding was covered on digester no. 3. Piping and appurtenances are being installed on the west end of the tank deck on the centrate treatment tanks. Removable bollards were installed at the liquid chemical storage area.

Week of March 27 2017:

Various work is taking place at the methane digester complex, the digester control building, the acid phase digesters, the dewatering feed pump station, solids handling building and more.

Week of March 13, 2017:

The tops of the digesters at the methane digester complex were surveyed. Various equipment was wired in the basement of the dewatering feed pump station. Welding is taking place on the roof of the solids handling building. Removable bollard were installed at the truck slab at the liquid chemical building.

Week of February 27, 2017:

Although impacted by frequent rain, recently completed tasks include pouring the concrete pad for the Digester Gas Preliminary Treatment System. Steel bridges have been set in place from the tower above the Digester Control Building to each of the three egg-shaped digesters and applying the thermal insulation on the egg-shaped digesters continues. Digester gas booster pumps were successfully tested at the factory in Toronto and will be shipped to the site shortly. 

Week of February 13, 2017:

Spray foam insulation was cleaned from the scaffolding at the methane digester complex. Electrical work is taking place throughout the complex.

Week of January 30, 2017:

The contractor terminated the electrical conductors for various equipment and installed electrical conduits in the digester control building. Electrical work continues in various aspects of the project.

Week of January 16, 2017:

The contractor cleaned the spray foam insulation from the scaffolding at the methane digester complex. Electrical work is underway at various aspects of the facility. SoCal Gas installed a three-inch gas line along the east side of the Michelson plant entrance. They will be installing the gas meters in the near future.

Week of January 2, 2017:

The contractor is installing foam on the exterior of Methane Digester No. 2; sludge and heated water piping in the Digester Control Building; sludge, chemicals, and odor control piping in the Solids Handling Building; and structural steel for the building walls above the dryer room. Electrical and instrumentation testing of the Andritz Dryer equipment was performed in early December.

Week of December 19, 2016:

In the Boiler Room of the digester control building, the contractor worked on the hot water and heated sludge piping installations. The contractor wired various equipment in the basement in the dewatering feed pump station. The electrical contractor worked on the electrical conductors for the mixers’ motors on both tanks at the sludge holding tanks. Multiple tasks are underway in the solids handling building. SoCal Gas installed a three-inch gas line along the east side of the MWRP entrance.

Week of December 12, 2016

At Methane Digester No. 1, PCI completed application of the foam insulation and is starting application of the primer to protect the foam from UV exposure. At Methane Digester No. 2 PCI covered and tented the construction scaffolding around the outside of the digester and the contractor sandblasted and primed the digester’s exterior. Electrical work is taking place throughout the complex. SoCal Gas installed a three-inch gas line along the east side of the MWRP entrance from Gate 2. They will be installing their gas meters in the near future.

Week of November 7, 2016

At Methane Digester No. 1, GTE started the aluminum railing installation in the tunnel area.  PCI covered and tented the construction scaffolding around the outside of the digester. At the digester control building, FBB placed the concrete for the equipment on the outside of the south side of the east stairway.  SoCal Gas installed a three-inch gas line along the east side of the MWRP entrance from Gate 2.

Week of October 24, 2016

Milestone 1 (MS #1) testing is currently underway to meet the completion goal of October 31, 2016.  The final on-going step includes running a seven-day test of the computerized control system and four pumps in the process that send sludge to the sludge screens to remove fibers that may interfere with the dryer's pellet formation. .  This is the first of seven milestones that follow the sludge treatment process, including thickening centrifuges and odor control (MS #2), anaerobic digestion (MS #4), dewatering centrifuges and sludge loadout to trucks (MS #5), biogas conditioning and microturbine power generation (MS #6), and producing pellets (MS #7). 

Week of October 10, 2016

The contractor worked on the bridges between the Digester Control Building and each methane digester. The ductwork was installed in the boiler room of the mezzanine in the digester control building. The contractor is installing insulation on the refrigerant lines from the air handlers in the west mezzanine to the condensing units outside the north side of the solids handling building.

Week of September 26, 2016

The contractor worked on electrical conductors for mixers on both sludge holding tanks. The electrical contractor is installing power and control cables on the overhead cable tray.  Another contractor is planning work for HVAC controls.At the methane digester No. 1, the fire sprinklers were painted in the tunnel area, and the ductwork support was installed in the tunnel area.  At Methane Digester No. 2, the exterior above grade section of the digester was sandblasted, and the contractor worked on the spray foam insulation in the tunnel area.

Week of September 12, 2016

The contractor worked on the bridges between the Digester Control Building and each methane digester. Ductwork was installed on the mezzanine of the digester control building. The aluminum stair railing for the stair tower at the dewatering feed pump station was worked on and sections were painted. The contractor is installing insulation on the refrigerant lines from the air handlers in the west mezzanine to the condensing units outside the north side of the solids handling building.

Week of August 29, 2016

The top of the gas dome at acid digester No. 2 was adjusted. At acid digester No. 3, the contractor set the concrete formwork for the equipment pad on the digester. In the liquid chemical storage, the contractor is installing conduit, wiring and shut-off switches for the pumps at the sulfuric acid bay. 

Week of August 22, 2016

The contractor continues to make progress on the Solids Handling Building including the masonry and decorative external veneer around the perimeter of the building.  In the methane digester area, the contractor is in the process of applying the foam insulation to the underside of the methane digesters, and in the acid phase digester area, the contractor has completed installation of the handrail and inter-connecting bridges between the digesters.

Week of August 15, 2016

The contractor worked on the spray foam insulation installation on the exterior of Methane Digester No. 1 in the tunnel area.  They also trimmed down the high spots on spray form insulation applied to the exterior of the Methane Digester No. 2 in the tunnel area.  Drain piping was installed in Methane Digester No. 3.

Week of August 3, 2016

Spray foam insulation was applied on the exterior of Digester No. 2 in the tunnel area. Scaffolding was removed from the inside of Digester No. 2. Fire sprinklers inside the solids handling building are being coated. Wiring of various components in the solids handling building is taking place.

Week of July 18, 2016

The contractor installed the masonry veneer on the outside of the walls digester control building.  The electrical contractor installed the electrical conduit on the south side of the building.  The walls were painted in the boiler room.

Week of July 4, 2016

The contractor is performing the fire sprinkler installation in the tunnels of the methane digester complex.  Another contractor worked on the bridges that span between the Methane Digesters and the Digester Control Building. In the solids handling building, the contractor is installing copper lines for air conditioning equipment. The contractor is installing the ladder on the northwest side of the tank.

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