Post 25 in a series. When Green Turns Brown is an examination of a small town’s digester-energy project, in which Whitewater, Wisconsin would import other cities’ waste, claiming that the result would be both profitable and green.
In Donohue’s second of several technical memoranda, one sees the fundamental nature of a digester-energy project for a small town like Whitewater:
4.2 FUTURE FLOWS AND LOADINGS
A questionnaire was sent to approximately 12 industries in the City of Whitewater primarily to gauge their plans for future expansion. The questionnaire also requested information about use of phosphorus, chlorides, and other chemicals, and interest in sending high strength waste to the anaerobic digesters or accepting treated effluent for cooling or other purposes. Based on water use records and other information, only two Whitewater industries are significant in terms of flow and one of these responded to the survey. The survey responses indicate that no Whitewater industries are planning to expand or change in the foreseeable future. Most industries use commercial or residential water softeners with sodium chloride salt. None of the industries reported needing treatment or digestion of high strength wastes. One industry expressed some interest in treated WWTP effluent to replace approximately 3,200 gpd of makeup process water.
See, Donohue Technical Memo 2, Flows, Loadings, and Existing Conditions, http://www.whitewater-wi.gov/images/stories/public_works/wastewater/Donohue_Technical_Memo_2_-_Flows_Loadings_and_Existing_Conditions.pdf.
Therein lies the nature of supposed energy production from this digester-energy project: rely on what’s available locally and the project will fail for lack of high-strength industrial waste; find high-strength industrial waste to fill the digester and Whitewater will become the destination for industrial wastes, trucked from faraway sources, that other cities do not want anywhere near their own communities.
Among what’s been published so far, there are memoranda and presentations (from both Donohue and city government) yet to discuss. Beyond that, of course, there are documents and answers to questions from the Question Bin one will have to seek.
The fundamentals, though, become clear the farther, and deeper, one looks.
WHEN GREEN TURNS BROWN: Mondays @ 10 AM, here on FREE WHITEWATER.