Reducing operating costs and improving performance through implementation of a biosolids environmental management system

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The Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority (CCMUA) operates an 80 million gallon per day (MGD) pure oxygen activated sludge treatment plant located in Camden City, N. J. Several years ago, the CCMUA was experiencing serious problems with its biosolids handling facilities, resulting in reduced effluent quality, significant odor problems and increased costs. In response, the CCMUA implemented an Environmental Management System (EMS) to:
  • optimize its water quality performance
  • optimize its air quality performance
  • minimize its costs

The EMS was a tremendous success for the CCMUA. By making judicious capital improvements, and implementing operational changes as well, the CCMUA was able to solve its biosolids management problem. This resulted in a significant improvement in effluent quality, and a significant reduction in odor events. In addition, by implementing the EMS, the CCMUA was also able to reduce its operating costs to such a degree that it has held its user fee for twelve consecutive years with three rate cuts during that time frame. This paper will outline the problems that the CCMUA faced initially, provide a description of how the CCMUA developed an EMS and then explain in detail how the CCMUA used its EMS to optimize its environmental performance and simultaneously reduce its costs.

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