Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility


Challenge Commitment
Goals Progress
25%Reduction in Energy Intensity

Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility (IAWWTF) went into service in 1987. The facility treats sanitary waste from three municipalities including Cornell University and Ithaca College and discharges safe water to Cayuga Lake. The facility accepts trucked residuals for bioenergy production in combination with in plant residuals via anaerobic digesters. Approximately 40-50% of electricity used at the plant is generated from the biogas produced.

IAWWTF is dedicated to reducing its carbon footprint through a series of programs that convert bio gas (methane) to energy. The energy generated through these programs is helping to power plant operations. One of the key components in this effort is IAWWTF’s Trucked Residuals Receiving Center (TRRC). In 2014, IAWWTF opened the doors on a next generation TRRC to allow the facility to continue a nearly 30 year history in taking local carbon waste and turning it into bioenergy.

Since 2012, the facility has been upgrading systems involved in its anaerobic digesters, installing replacement cogeneration equipment (switched from reciprocating engines to microturbines) that increased electrical production from 200kW to 260kW, and upgrading aeration equipment. Via another capital project, the facility rebuilt its existing trucked residuals receiving center. Through these two projects, IAWWTF significantly increased biogas production and reduced overall energy usage.