Michigan City wastewater energy efficiency

Outcomes and Conclusions

Prior to the upgrade, Michigan City was operating multiple blowers. With the new blowers, the plant only needs to run one blower at 60% capacity. Setting a minimum speed for the blowers has also improved performance. Since April 2018, the plant has observed a 10% reduction in overall electricity use and is on pace to see more than $40,000 in savings in the first year since the updates. The old blowers were also very loud when operating—the updates dramatically improved the work environment. The plant also saved money by reducing the amount of chemicals in its treatment feed.

In the coming year, the Sanitary District team plans to identify options to have all operations powered by solar energy and to initiate another energy audit of its plant by the University of Illinois-Chicago, which will be free through NIPSCO.

Lessons Learned

Michael Kuss, the project manager and General Manager for the Sanitary District, gave this advice: 

“If you have the capacity, participate in organizations that help you voluntarily make improvements in your operations that do not pertain to a regulation or rule. For example, we are members of the Partners for Clean Air Program. Since joining, we have expanded our peer-learning network, and learned a number of ways we can work to clean our region’s air and improve our facility’s resilience.”

Project Resources

For more information about Michigan City's efficiency updates, contact:

Michael Kuss
General Manager, Sanitary District of Michigan City

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There are many different ways to improve energy efficiency in your area. One common way is to convert to LED lights like Indianapolis, Indiana who converted their streetlights to LED lights.