The City of Healdsburg’s wastewater collection system consists of 36 miles of sewer mains and 9 sewer lift stations. The sewer mains and lift stations convey residential, commercial and industrial wastewater into the treatment facility. Wastewater is treated at our state of the art facility (PDF).
Crews respond to service calls for blockage problems concerning the collection system and house service laterals from the main to the street line. Collection system facilities (pumps, motors, mains and manholes) are serviced on a routine basis or as necessary.
The Wastewater Treatment Plant moves a lot of biosolids (the solid byproduct of the treatment process). On average, our community produces over 2,000 wet tons of biosolids each year. (That is more than 4 million pounds!)
In the past, biosolids that were extracted while treating wastewater had to be placed in the dumpster trailer using smaller bins and a diesel forklift, and occupying staff time every 26 minutes. For a typical workweek, about 40 of the 1.5 cubic yard smaller bins were tipped into the large dumpster. Beginning in late 2023, the new biosolids conveyor beltcan move the biosolids with about 5 adjustments from staff per day, and operators are working to automate the conveyor to properly load the trailer and make these adjustments on its own. Additionally, it is using clean, renewable electricity. It’s a win-win!
The City also recently stopped sending the biosolids to a landfill, where it was used as alternative daily cover for the trash. This change was brought about by new regulations to generate fewer greenhouse gases by reducing the amount of organic material landfilled, including biosolids. The biosolids now go to a facility that processes them so that it can be used on agricultural crops of any type. However, this process is expensive and the City is working on alternative options for direct land application and composting that are more cost effective while remaining consistent with the new regulations.
These are just some examples of how Healdsburg’s staff solve issues economically and in an environmentally responsible way.