LANCASTER, Pa. — Dec. 17, 2015 — Work has started on an upgrade and expansion project at a wastewater treatment plant in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, according to a press release.

Engineering and architectural firm Buchart Horn said in the release that the $26.8 million biosolids project for Lancaster Area Sewer Authority (LASA) will reduce the facility’s environmental footprint and result in Class A biosolids.

The company will install anaerobic digesters and a biosolids (organic matter) dryer at the plant, noted the release. The anaerobic digesters will help stabilize the biosolids while producing methane gas, which is then used to heat the digesters and the biosolids dryer.

According to Buchart Horn, the biosolids dryer will exceed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards for stabilizing biosolids, allowing the biosolids to be safely reused. The efficiency of these upgrades will also reduce the environmental impact of the facility.

Welcoming the start of the project, Barry Smith, board chairman of LASA, said in the release that it would help the sewer authority provide quality service at reasonable cost, while also promoting sustainability and encouraging environmental stewardship.

“We carefully planned, studied and evaluated biosolids processing alternatives,” he explained in the release. “In the end, we are confident our final selection of anaerobic digestion coupled with heat drying with biogas will provide a sound return on the Authority’s investment dollars and will result in a financially sustainable and environmentally friendly method of handling and distributing our biosolids product — making what was in the past a nuisance into a resource to be recovered and reused.”

You can find the entire release here.