- In May of 2011, the city of Rogers, Arkansas, population 49,000, concluded its lengthly search for equipment to facilitate conversion of its wastestream into Class A biosolids with the purchase of an IC 7000 Bio-Scru Dryer from Therma- Flite, Inc. of Benicia, CA. The city conducted a comprehensive search for options beginning in 2005, when consulting engineers led them through discussions with 6 manufacturers, visits to many installations and a series of on-site pilot studies. Ultimately, the contract was awarded to Therma-Flite for its IC Series Dryer, which is scheduled for delivery next Spring.
Located in the Fayetteville-Springdale greater metropolitan area, Rogers is a smaller city that has seen rapid growth and plenty of change over the last 10 years. Its existing treatment system consists of an advanced nutrient removal system and the production of Class B waste which was becoming increasingly complicated and expensive to deal with. Several years back, following legal activity regarding phosphorous issues in the Illinois River Watershed, land application became impossible. Rogers was forced to ship its Class B waste out of state for landfilling. With almost 80% water content, the heavy loads of Class B were straining the budget as gasoline prices edged ever upward. Rogers Wastewater Plant Manager, Robert Moore diligently explored a number of alternatives. “We looked at solar dryers, we looked at microwave dryers, and we looked at batch dryers from a list of leading manufacturers,” recalls Moore. “We saw some interesting systems but we needed a system that fit our criteria.”
Early this year, a local consulting firm introduced Moore to Therma-Flite and a pilot study began that left Moore favorably impressed. The Therma-Flite equipment was very simple to operate and efficient. The Rogers facility was 100% automated before dryer purchase and it needed to stay that way because Rogers runs on minimal personnel. Batch dryers were just not filling the bill for this reason alone. Therma-Flite Bio-Scru dryers are continuous feed, fully automated, and PLC-controlled requiring minimal operator interaction. In addition, the dual intermeshing rotor design is self-clearing, yielding a uniform Class A end product and the sealed anaerobic chamber is cleaner and safer...a good fit for Rogers. Although the Rogers plant has plenty of space for now, they really liked the compact design of Therma-Flite’s equipment. “That too affords a savings, as the building can be smaller,” according to Moore, who confesses that in his town, price is always a concern.
The team at Rogers aren’t exactly certain what they will do with their new Class A biosolids but expect it will be easy to sell. Local farmers and golf courses have already inquired about it. The area has a fair number of dairies, poultry farms and hay production, along with large recreational facilities, parks, golf courses etc. The new Therma-Flite Dryer’s Class A end product is very dry and light, making shipping for a bulk sales operation very reasonable and keeping profitability high. Revenues from Class A end product, as opposed to expenses from Class B, will be a scenario that’s very easy to get used to.