Washington City to Modernize Its Industrial Wastewater Treatment With New Reuse Facility

Wastewater recovery center to support agribusiness growth, provide clean water and nutrients to farms and turn waste into renewable natural gas

Washington City to Modernize Its Industrial Wastewater Treatment With New Reuse Facility

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Burnham RNG LLC announced in June the issuance of green bonds to support the construction of the Pasco Resource Recovery Center, an innovative industrial wastewater treatment facility that will clean wastewater for agricultural reuse and capture biogas and convert it into renewable natural gas.

The project represents a 30-year public private partnership with the City of Pasco, Washington, for Burnham to build, own and operate the PRRC on behalf of the city. The RNG will be sold under a long-term contract, allowing the city to reduce net treatment costs and take advantage of tax incentives currently available for RNG projects under the Inflation Reduction Act. The center will support the growth of the city’s booming agribusiness sector while turning wastewater into clean energy and providing clean water and nutrients to irrigate and fertilize city-owned farmland.

The project is being constructed under an EPC contract with Swinerton Builders Inc. and will feature two Evoqua low-rate anaerobic digesters and an innovative nitrogen reduction system provided by Gross Wen Technologies. The RNG, which is generated as a byproduct of the wastewater treatment process, will be purchased by Cascade Natural Gas under a long-term contract and gas sale revenues will be allocated to offset the cost of the project. 

The PRRC will enable the reuse of an estimated 1.5 billion gallons of wastewater per year and is estimated to produce enough RNG to supply over 4,500 Washington state residential consumers each year with a source of natural gas that is both clean and renewable. 

Burnham and Swinerton have already commenced construction and the project is scheduled to be completed in late 2024. Burnham worked closely with Sustainable Energy Ventures LLC, a Pacific Northwest-based project development company, on the project.

The construction expenditures for the PRRC are estimated to generate over $200 million in economic output, support over 1,000 jobs and pay approximately $85 million in labor income across Washington state. Further economic stimulation is expected from project construction outside of Pasco in the Tri-Cities and across the state. Once in operation, the project is expected to support approximately 25 jobs. 

“The PRRC represents a significant investment in the future prosperity and sustainability of our region,” says City of Pasco Public Works Director Steve Worley. “Not only will it give us the capacity to serve the growing needs of food processors through a state-of-the art facility, but it will also be a boost for the community at large and pay significant dividends through job creation. The ability to create clean renewable gas helps to reduce the net cost of the necessary wastewater treatment and creates opportunities for future economic development by attracting businesses with carbon-conscious priorities.”  

Burnham CEO Chris Tynan says Burnham is focused on ending emissions from waste. “Wastewater is a source of clean energy, clean water and organic nutrients that can be captured and sold to reduce net wastewater treatment costs and improve environmental outcomes. The Pasco Resource Recovery Center is an example of how a public private partnership structure can help municipal leaders navigate the complexities of the RNG world, manage risk and capture the benefits without needing to invest in new commercial and operational capabilities.”


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