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City mulling plan to use waste for electricity, water purification

Plug-and-OutletOXFORD — The city Oxford is exploring a partnership using municipal sewage to generate electricity while purifying wastewater.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports that the city is looking at a proposal from Synergy-World Energy LLC and Langenburg Technologies LLC.

Public Works director Bart Robinson says the company will pull organic materials from the city’s wastewater and using the materials as fuel for a grid-connected generation system. It already operates such a system in Eugene, Ore.

Under terms suggested in a nonbinding letter of interest, the city would pay the company the value of the wastewater treatment in increments of one million gallons per day over a 20-year period. The company would reap the proceeds of electricity sales.

Robinson said the major benefit to the city would be to extend the useful capacity of its wastewater treatment system, whose capacity is about 6.5 million gallons per day.

“We’re treating around 3.5 million (gallons per day) now,” he said. “But just before we expanded, we were at 2.5 million.”

The city doubled the system’s capacity a couple years ago with its expansion of the treatment system.

Oxford treats sewage for residential and commercial customers within city limits and in many areas outside its borders, and Robinson said reaching its capacity is not inconceivable with the area’s fast growth.

“We’re essentially treating sewage for an equivalent of about 35,000 people,” Robinson said.

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