Treatment plants getting a green makeover

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Wastewater treatments plants damaged by last year's floods will be getting an energy-efficient upgrade.

Environmental Protection Agency Director Curt Spalding says while touring the storm damaged treatment plants last year he asked himself, "what if they could be rebuilt to be more energy efficient?"

There's already a program rolling out across New England, says Spaulding, where treatment plants are saving as much energy as their spending creating a net-zero output.

"So some are indeed putting up solar panels, wind turbines or they're using their sludge and turning it into energy, essentially methane, by fermenting that sludge," he says.

The treatment plants serve Cranston, Warwick and West Warwick. Warwick's plant was submerged by last year's floods. And Warwick Mayor Scott Avadisian says fixing the damage will bring the plant into the future.

"It's an absolutely perfect opportunity to make this work so it's green, energy efficient, we're doing the right thing we're taking advantage of the most up to date and state of the art technology," he says.

The EPA says customers will benefit from the green upgrades through lower bills.

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