ECUA’S NEW VEHICLE This week the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority introduced a new hybrid sanitation vehicle to its fleet—hoping to cut costs and help the environment by using less fuel and improving vehicle brake life.
The Peterbilt Model 320 HLA vehicle, which ECUA bought for $174,500, was initially a demo model with 4,600 miles on it. The utility also spent $30,000 for a hydraulic hybrid conversion kit.
According to Jim Roberts, ECUA spokesman, a new vehicle would generally cost $228,000. Roberts says the hybrid vehicle will be running different routes around the county to test its efficiency.
“The truck will be rotated on all routes, not just limited to one,” he says. “We want to test it under all road conditions from North Escambia to Perdido Key to
Pensacola. Every customer will see this beautiful vehicle.”
The idea to purchase the vehicle came from ECUA Director of Sanitation, Randy Rudd, who says the vehicle has the ability to recover a substantial amount of energy generally lost in other utility vehicles.
“The HLA technology works by recovering up to 75 percent of energy lost by the vehicle’s brakes in the form of pressurized hydraulic fluid,” he says in a press release.
“The fuel is stored until the driver next accelerates the vehicle, which reduces fuel consumption and wear on the engine. This is an ideal environmental option for refuse pick-up applications.”
ECUA plans on using the one vehicle for a year, “gathering performance and maintenance data. The authority will then use this data to compare the hydraulic hybrid system against other hybrid alternatives, and compressed natural gas powered vehicles.”
Some performance specs: 30 percent to 40 percent reduction in emissions, a 30 percent improvement in fuel consumption, reduces brake-related maintenance costs by 50 percent.
PLANT GOES ONLINE ECUA’s new $320 million Central Water Reclamation Facility is now online.
From press release: The CWRF has been designated as an AWT (advanced wastewater treatment) facility, meaning it will produce effluent of a very high quality, which will be disinfected to the level required for unrestricted exposure to the public. One hundred percent of the reclaimed water from the plant will be reused, eliminating any potential surface water discharge. Unique safety design features were included in the state-of-the-art plant; the CWRF is constructed to withstand Category Five hurricane force winds of up to 190mph and the site is a minimum of 50 feet above sea level, removing it from any potential flood issues.
Steve Sorrell, ECUA’s executive director says, “The secret to the success of CWRF project is teamwork and a visionary Board of Directors. The ECUA board focused on the big picture and the needs of the community, putting aside political issues.
My team was allowed to manage the project’s day-to-day operation, allowing us to act with the efficiency of a private organization, keeping the process moving without having to get approvals in advance.”
ECUA engineers have already completed pressure testing and cleaning of the new transmission lines and the three new regional pumping stations. During the week of August 23, ECUA pumped clean water through the system to conduct the final process checkout. Start-up of the CWRF began Monday, August 30. It will now take a few months before the entire system is fully functional, but it’s expected that all flow will be diverted from the Main Street Plant by January 2011.
AQUARIUM FINISHES STRONG After weeks of support through Facebook and e-mails, the Aquarium for Pensacola finishes in the top 10 for the Pepsi “Do Good For The Gulf” Challenge. The grand prize was $250,000 and was given to the St. Bernard Project to provide mental health services and jobs to oil spill victims. According to Bill Young, president of Aquarium for Pensacola, a top 10 finish will allow his group the opportunity to be placed in other Pepsi contests.
BARE ENDORSES WIGGINS Charles Bare, who received 1,763 (13.6 percent) votes in Tuesday’s primary, has issued two days after the primary a statement supporting Mike Wiggins as Pensacola’s first strong mayor. In his press release, Bare wrote, “I believe Mike is open to my ideas and will work diligently to help a city that is suffering from a down economy and poor decisions from the past.”
Bare stated that he had spent 25 consecutive weekdays waving on street corners and was ready to get back to spending time with his family and his business. However, he wasn’t ready to stop working for Pensacola and he is committed to helping elect Wiggins, with whom Bare said he maintained a cordial and constructive dialogue throughout the campaign.
“This is a critical election for the people of Pensacola,” Bare said. “We need an honest candidate who will work hard to advance Pensacola.”
DONOVAN/NOBLE PETITION There is a shoebox supposedly filled with 3,916 signed petitions floating around Pensacola. Has anyone seen it? If found, please return to Donovan Realty, 223 East Government St. Tick, tock.