Equipment helps turn waste to fertilizer

NANAIMO – Regional district board approved the purchase of a $169,000 assembly that extracts sludge during the waste treatment process.

The Regional District of Nanaimo board has approved the purchase of a $169,000 assembly that extracts sludge during the waste treatment process.

At its regular meeting last week, the board approved the purchase of an Alfa Laval centrifuge rotating assembly, which will be shared between the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre and the pollution control centre at French Creek.

Sean De Pol, regional district manager of wastewater services, said the centrifuge is used to take organic matter and dry it. The material can then be used as fertilizer.

“The way to imagine it is, it’s like a large washing machine that is on spin cycle,” De Pol said.

He said the new system will likely be installed at the Nanaimo centre, with the current Nanaimo centrifuge to receive servicing and maintenance and to be used as the spare unit.

In the event the centrifuge breaks down, the regional district has a complete rotating assembly that can be put in place while repairs are made, without having the unit down for an extended period of time.

“Even if a unit doesn’t go down, it gives us the opportunity to pull out the entire unit and do maintenance on it without pulling the unit offline for an extended period of time,” he said.

When repairs are needed, pieces are sent to Edmonton and have an estimated return date of 60 days.