Need Water? Got Wastewater?
Fulton County Is the Whey To Go!
Just as the waters of the Great Sacandaga Lake draw tourists to the area, the abundant water resources of Fulton County attract manufacturers. Water abounds in Gloversville, which has four reservoirs providing 710,000,000 gallons of storage capacity.
The county processes wastewater, including whey, from local manufacturers, at the GloversvilleJohnstown Joint Wastewater Treatment Facility (GJJWTF), which has a designed capacity of 13.8 million gallons per day of residential and industrial wastewater. In addition, high-strength whey from the local dairy industry is piped to an anaerobic digester which generates methane gas. This renewable methane gas fuels a combined heat and power system. 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.
In 2019, the facility processed 387,636,401 gallons of wastewater from industrial sources. Since the dairy industry represented most of the industrial load, the GJJWTF designed and constructed a unique dairy wastewater processing unit to handle the dairy’s high-strength washwater, a combination of cleaning agents and dairy product residues. As a result of this future planning, GJJWTF operates at 50 percent of its designed load capacity for biological oxygen demand (BOD) and total suspended solids (TSS).
In 2019, the facility processed 387,636,401 gallons of wastewater from industrial sources.
Dairy manufacturers accounted for 211,637,684 gallons of this total in 2019. To eliminate the need for manufacturers to truck their whey to the treatment facility, GJJWTF installed whey and washwater pipelines directly from their factories to the facility. Currently, the dairies simply pump their whey 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. “In terms of green, we’re very green,” said manager Wallace Arnold. “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.