By DEQ Grants and Loans Program

Upgrades to the City of Post Falls Water Reclamation Plant will save the city almost 1,300,000kW-hr and $80,000 a year. The energy savings is equal to the total annual power needs of over 100 homes or the annual lighting needs of 1000 residences.

The upgrades were made possible with a low-interest loan from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality State Revolving Fund (SRF). The SRF loan process emphasizes reductions to operations and maintenance costs, and an investigation required by the SRF’s Green Project Reserve Program, revealed opportunities for the facility upgrade that would provide significant savings for the city.

Instead of more energy-intensive alternatives, the city chose to fund and install energy-efficient green options, which will provide substantial cost savings from reduced energy bills and rapidly offset the initial cost difference of the green components.

A primary recommendation by the city’s consultants was to install equalization tanks to reduce the variability of flow and loads entering the reclamation plant. Tank mixers and pumps equipped with variable frequency drives as well as an advanced computer-based monitoring and control (SCADA) system, ensure equipment operates at optimum speeds, minimizing power costs. Special piping design and mechanical arrangements further reduce energy requirements by enhancing the city’s flexibility in managing operations.

Additional cost-effective green improvements identified also include energy-efficient LED lighting and the strategic locating of chemical feed piping to reduce chemical usage by approximately 50%.

By providing these energy-efficient and innovative upgrades, City of Post Falls can expect many more years of continued cost savings.

For more information on the Green Project Reserve Program, visit www.deq.idaho.gov/water-quality/grants-loans/green-project-reserve