City expects to save money with improved water network
The City of Hamilton has launched a “green” initiative to improve its wastewater network while potentially saving $75,000 a year.
The goal of the project is to lower costs in pumping energy within the system which is comprised of 16 large wastewater pumps.
Energy costs are about $500,000 a year and it is hoped that the project will reduce that figure by about 15 per cent.
Lower energy consumption will further reduce maintenance costs and improve the lifespans of assets, the City said.
Using a phased approach, the City will first look to reduce the amount of inflow and infiltration of fresh and seawater into the wastewater network.
This water comes from rain, broken or damaged sewage lines, air conditioning condensate discharge lines, unsuitable roof drain connections and other sources.
A City spokeswoman explained that fresh water and seawater should ideally be handled by the street drain system rather than the wastewater network, which screens the inflow and removes solids before discharging it offshore at “great expense”.
Specialised camera equipment will be run through every Hamilton wastewater line to survey for any damages or cracks that could let water penetrate the system.
Manholes will also be sealed with gaskets and any inappropriate piping will be rectified.
It is expected that there will be a reduction of street level odours as a result.
The City has surveyed about 15 per cent of Hamilton and has carried out two major line repairs.
It is ready to fix a number of other damaged lines in the coming months.
Data will be collected and compared to historic information to “provide a baseline for the improvements”.
Charles Waters, an assistant city engineer, said: “Reducing pumping expense in the Hamilton network is a clear winner with the highest return on investment across most green initiatives.
“It is almost always better to reduce baseline consumption before buying specialised equipment to achieve better efficiencies.”
The spokeswoman said that the programme’s second phase will include a full LED retrofit across the City as well as ongoing heating, ventilation and air conditioning efficiency programmes and solar installations.
She added: “As HVAC systems make up roughly 30 per cent of a building’s energy consumption, this is a constant area to focus on.”
The City, working with Bermuda Alternative Energy, is installing solar panels on the roof of its Front Street pump station.
The project will encompass 110 solar panels and generate about 35,000 watts of power for the station with an estimated annual saving of $18,000 per year.
In 2019, the City installed 210 solar panels on the Works Depot roof, which generated an approximate $40,000 reduction in the annual electric bill.