Preserving our natural resources
GRU's water reclamation facilities serve approximately 185,000 people in the Gainesville area. The wastewater we receive from our customers is highly treated and reclaimed through a multi-stage process that allows it to be beneficially reused. The water reclamation process also produces a byproduct called biosolids. These biosolids are rich in nutrients and organic materials and can be recycled in a number of ways that are safe and good for the environment.
Current Recycling Practices
GRU recycles biosolids to produce a low-cost fertilizer soil amendment to supplement farming needs. The Kanapaha and Main Street Water Reclamation facilities provide stabilized, nutrient-rich biosolids to a local farm. The farm applies the materials to fertilize and improve growth for corn, ryegrass, Bermuda hay and other crops.
GRU's biosolids meet the Environmental Protection Agency's quality regulations and are applied to the fields in controlled, agronomic rates.
Benefits of Recycling Biosolids
Biosolids recycling is a sustainable process that preserves our natural resources and improves our environment by:
- Enriching soil fertility
- Converting a byproduct into a useful commodity
- Reducing use of energy-intensive, commercial fertilizers
- Improving growth and crop yields
- Lowering costs
Looking to the Future
GRU wants to ensure that its biosolids continue to be handled in an environmentally responsible manner that meets local, state and federal regulations. The utility is in the process of evaluating multiple alternatives for treating and reusing its biosolids. In order to allow the biosolids to be reused in a variety of ways, GRU will begin dewatering these materials starting in late 2015 or early 2016. Ultimately, GRU intends to contract with one or more vendors to receive its dewatered biosolids.
RFI and Community Meeting
GRU issued a Request for Information (RFI) to determine beneficial reuse and/or disposal methods of its dewatered biosolids moving forward. The submission period closed Sept. 9, 2014. GRU also hosted a community meeting on Oct. 15, 2014, to discuss the dewatering project.
RFP and Recommended Award
GRU issued a Request For Proposal (RFP) for the Transportation and Beneficial Reuse or Disposal of Dewatered Biosolids on Jan. 7, 2015. A mandatory pre-proposal meeting was held Jan. 21, 2015, at the GRU Administration Building. The RFP submission deadline was Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015.
GRU staff evaluated seven responses to the RFP and recommends that a contract be awarded to GreenTechnologies, LLC. The recommendation was presented to the City Commission for approval on April 2, 2015.
Watson C&D, LLC protested GRU's recommended award for RFP 2015-024 for the Transportation and Beneficial Reuse or Disposal of Dewatered Biosolids. A protest hearing was held Friday, March 20, 2015, at 2 p.m. in the GRU Administration Building Multipurpose Room (301 SE 4th Ave., Gainesville). The protest was denied and on March 26, 2015, Watson C&D, LLC sent notice to appeal the General Manager's decision to deny the protest. On April 2, 2015, the appeal was heard by the Gainesville City Commission and Watson C&D, LLC was denied the protest and recommendation to award the contract to Green Technologies, LLC was approved.