It is said you can learn a lot about a person by looking at their garbage. Turns out, you can learn just as much about the character of Petaluma by looking at its sewage — or, thankfully, at the facility that processes it.
During its 10 years, the Ellis Wastewater Treatment Facility has reshaped itself to take in waste produced by a rapidly changing city, factoring in an increased population and new industries like large-scale beer production.
Recently-completed projects costing roughly $9 million have changed the face of the wastewater facility by expanding treatment capacity, tackling hard-to-process industry waste and building a system that will provide biofuel to city vehicles.
“We’ve been under construction pretty much since 2014, which was five years after the plant opened,” said Deputy Director Leah Godsey Walker. “So, we’ve been building for quite a bit.”
Construction of the high-strength waste receiving station will soon give the plant the ability to process by-products from food and production facilities, such as Lagunitas and Petaluma Poultry, that can’t go down the drain. These include animal processing waste, fats, oils and liquids used to process food and beverages.
From our project archives…
Biomass Magazine reports the California Energy Commission approved a $3 million grant for the design, construction and operation of an anaerobic digestion (AD) system at the Ellis Water Recycling Facility. This facility in the City of Petaluma will produce 150,000 gasoline gallon equivalents (GGE) of renewal natural gas (RNG) made from food and beverage waste.
The funding is provided by the energy commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.
Read more about the project here.