High-Tech sludge dryer up and running in the City of Lenoir

LENOIR, NC (May 7, 2021) — The City’s high-tech sludge dryer is up and running at the Lower Creek wastewater treatment plant.

In the video below, Public Utilities Director Radford Thomas talks with Communication & Public Information Director Joshua Harris about how the sludge dryer turns wastewater sludge into a dry, ready-to-use fertilizer.

The City of Lenoir City Council approved the purchase of the Gryphon Dryer system in early 2019. After going through the dryer at ~300 degrees for about 30 minutes, the sludge from the City’s wastewater treatment plant is 99% dry, pasteurized, and free from bacteria. It is a class-A product that can be put on hayfields or used as a soil amendment.

“We already have farmers calling and asking when they can get material,” Thomas said.

The dryer runs on natural gas and the final product is much cleaner and easier to handle than the previous treatment process, which used lime. The total project cost was $6.6 million, and the City received a low-interest State Reserve loan to fund the project.