Lancaster, Pa. — Lancaster Area Sewer Authority (LASA) and Buchart Horn, a full-service, international engineering and architectural firm, broke ground on a $26.8 million biosolids upgrade and improvement project in Lancaster, Pa. The facility, which already meets EPA standards, is beginning the upgrade as a voluntary, proactive project to reduce its environmental footprint. The project will result in Class A biosolids which is EPA’s highest standard.

“This is a significant project — not only because of its significant construction cost of $26.8 million, but also because of its importance in furthering the Board’s mission — to provide quality service at reasonable cost, and two of our strategic initiatives — to promote sustainability and encourage environmental stewardship,” said Barry Smith, board chairman of LASA. “We carefully planned, studied and evaluated biosolids processing alternatives. 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 re-used.”

The upgrade and expansion will include adding anaerobic digesters and a biosolids (organic matter) dryer.  The anaerobic digesters will help to stabilize biosolids while producing methane gas. The gas produced is then used to heat the digesters and the biosolids dryer. The biosolids dryer will exceed EPA standards for stabilizing biosolids, which will allow the biosolids to be safely reused. The efficiency of these upgrades will result in reducing the environmental impact of the facility.

“This project is positive for the environment, for local jobs, and for this community,” said Brian Funkhouser, president of Buchart Horn, which will serve as the project manager of the upgrade and expansion. “We’re proud to be a part of a project that promotes sustainability and innovative thinking for the betterment of the entire region.”