City of Broken Arrow exploring sustainability options for Haikey Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant

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Source: City of Broken Arrow

A team of engineers from the City of Broken Arrow and the City of Tulsa have agreed upon a composting process to turn biosolids from Haikey Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant into compost.

The plant is a part of the Regional Metropolitan Utility Authority and serves both cities.

City of Broken Arrow Environmental Division Manager Brandy Parks and Environmental Project Engineer Emily Rowland traveled to Spotsylvania, Virginia, with City of Tulsa Water Pollution Control Manager Matt Vaughn and representatives from Jacobs Engineering Group.

The trip was a one-day site visit to a wastewater treatment plant that uses the same process they would like to implement at Haikey Creek.

Wastewater facilities have two essential functions—reclaiming water and processing solid waste. The new plan will convert the biosolid waste into useable Class A compost for use in vegetable gardens, house plants, and lawns.

"Our main concern with Haikey Creek is that we are not a stand-alone plant," Parks said. "City employees haul the sludge to South Tulsa's Wastewater Treatment Plant, and it's 22 miles each way with 8-10 tanker truckloads every day."

Spotsylvania was the fifth site the team has visited to explore options for turning biosolids into useable compost.

Other stops included visits to the Midwest City Wastewater Treatment Plant, a belt dryer and composting facility in northwest Arkansas, an anaerobic digestion process at the Southside Wastewater Treatment Plant in Tulsa, and the City of Tulsa Mulch Site.

From the site visits, the team agreed that composting biosolids was the best option for the environment and the most economical. And most importantly, in Parks' opinion, city employees won't have to make multiple trips to the south Tulsa location carrying the biosolids.

"We decided to visit Spotsylvania because they have a Jacobs Engineering Group designed plant there that uses Static Aeration technology," Parks said. "We now consider that as the best option for Haikey Creek."

The process mixes the biosolids with wood chips, and the static aeration dries them through a venting and screening method.

"By being on-site, we could see the facility, interview the staff, and ask what they would have done differently," she said. "They had insight, which was nice."

The team is now in the preliminary design process, with the final design phase expected to begin in October. Jacobs Engineering Group will design the plans, and the two city's engineering teams will oversee the process.

Approval by the Broken Arrow Municipal Authority, the Regional Metropolitan Utility Authority, the Tulsa Municipal Utility Authority, and the Department of Environmental Quality must be granted before the start of construction.

At completion, Haikey Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant will be Oklahoma's largest composting facility.

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