The sludge digesters are like large, mechanical stomachs that digest the sludge for an average of 30 days. Anaerobic (in the absence of oxygen) microorganisms break down the sludge solids into stable compounds.
The digestion process produces carbon dioxide and methane gas. Excess methane gas is burned in a waste gas flare.
Some of the water in the digested sludge is removed using belt presses. Similar to the wringers in old-fashioned washers, water is squeezed out of the sludge in the belt press. Approximately 20% of the water is removed.
The "dried" sludge, shown in this photo dropping off the belt press, is trucked to a nearby landfill for use as alternative daily cover.
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