For manufacturers who require an abundant supply of water, Fulton County has it. Water abounds in Gloversville, which has four reservoirs providing 710,000,000 gallons of storage capacity. Equally as important as the water supply is the wastewater that is produced during the manufacturing. Fulton County expertly handles that issue in the most cost-efficient and environmentally friendly ways possible through the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Wastewater Treatment Facility (GJJWTF), one of the top wastewater treatment facilities in the nation.
In addition to being able to handle residential wastewater, the GJJWTF is specifically designed to meet the high-volume needs of manufacturers now and in the future, with the capacity for handling much more than its current intake. The GJJWTF has a designed capacity of 13.8 million gallons per day of residential and industrial wastewater.
In 2020, the facility processed 347,223,197 gallons of wastewater from industrial sources, including 211,414,295 from dairy manufacturers. Since the dairy industry represented most of the industrial load, the GJJWTF designed and constructed a unique wastewater processing unit to handle the dairy’s problematic washwater, a combination of cleaning agents and dairy product residues.
For manufacturers who require an abundant supply of water, Fulton County has it.
Fulton County manufacturers that produce whey have no need to go through the costly process of pre-treating this byproduct before it goes to the wastewater treatment facility. Manufacturers can pump whey from their factories through pipelines installed by Fulton County directly to the GJJWTF, where it is pre-treated before going through the normal wastewater treatment system. This benefit saves manufacturers hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars per year. Currently, Fulton County is expanding these specialty wastewater treatment lines to the northern parts of the county to accommodate future economic growth.
In addition to being cost-effective for manufacturers, the GJJWTF’s system is designed with sustainability in mind, so manufacturers can know that they are engaging in eco-friendly processes.
When manufacturers pump their high-strength whey to the GJJWTF, it goes directly to the mesophilic anaerobic digesters that produce the methane that runs the plant’s combined heat and power generators, converting the whey to fuel.
GJJWTF’s state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant is the first and only wastewater treatment plant in the United States that produces 100 percent of its own electrical power needs and sells excess electrical power to the grid.
This benefit saves manufacturers hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars per year.
To make the facility even greener, Fulton County is in the planning stages of acquiring thermal sludge dryers that would eliminate roughly 80 percent of the solid waste that would otherwise be transported to landfills, eliminating much of the cost of transportation as well as environmental impact. Sludge- drying transforms sludge into useful products or green fuel.
“In terms of green, we’re very green,” said Wallace Arnold, manager of the GJJWTF. “You’re not going to find a wastewater plant that generates more power than it uses.”
With an abundant supply of water and the facility to process wastewater, Fulton County is well-positioned to welcome new companies that have high water demands and wastewater discharges, all with sustainability in mind.