PHOENIXVILLE — The borough is the recipient of a $650,000 state grant toward its $4.2 million high-tech wastewater treatment plant upgrade that will use a new process called hydrothermal carbonization.

This project is a collaboration between the Borough of Phoenixville and SoMax Bioenergy that began in 2018.

Once completed, this project will use organic waste as a resource for sustainable development and resilient waste management to create energy, clean water, and nutrients (fertilizer).

“This project will the be very first of its kind in the United States,” according to Dan Spracklin of SoMax Bioenergy.

“Clean, safe and reliable water, sewer and wastewater treatment systems are vital to public health,” said state Sen. Andrew Dinniman, D-19th Dist. said. “These funds will help local municipalities provide necessary infrastructure upgrades to help ensure more efficient and more secure water systems for local residents and families.”

“This project will benefit our environment as we seek to reduce energy consumption, and, in Phoenixville’s case, decrease waste sent to landfills by using biosolids and food waste to create marketable end products," said state Rep. Danielle Friel-Otten, D-155th Dist. "Securing this funding is a major investment into the sustainability and efficiency of our community.”

In 2019, the Borough of Phoenixville was awarded a Chester County Community Revitalization Program Grant to help fund the HTC project in the amount of $402,000.

“We are grateful for the continued support from our county commissioners and state officials in our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint,” said Borough Council President Jonathan Ewald.

In September of 2017, the Borough of Phoenixville became the 44th municipality nationally and first in Pennsylvania to commit to transitioning municipal operations to 100 percent sustainable energy by the year 2035 with a resolution passed by borough council.

The HTC project is a critical step to achieving this goal.

For further updates as this project continues, the public is encouraged to visit the Borough website at www.phoenixville.org and look for the page on "Sustainability" under the Community tab.

This article first appeared as a post in The Digital Notebook blog.

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