Holland Area WRF Anaerobic Digester Project Earns Envision Gold

The Holland Area Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) operated by the Holland Board of Public Works (HBPW) received an Envision Gold rating for sustainability for an anaerobic digester project. This project adds an anaerobic digester for solids reduction and biogas collection, treatment and cogeneration at the Holland Area Water Reclamation Facility WRF operated by HBPW.

In response to reduced landfill options for dewatered solids disposal, limitations on land applications of biosolids, and limitations on the volume of solids that can be stored at the WRF, anaerobic digestion provides a more sustainable option. The anaerobic digester at the WRF is expected to reduce the amount of wastewater solids from the water reclamation process by approximately 50%. The digestion process reduces solids by converting a portion of those solids to biogas.  The generation of this biogas in turn allows the WRF to produce electricity and heat from the wastewater being treated. The facility will treat the wastewater solids to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Class A biosolids standard, which allows many options for beneficial reuse including fertilizer. Anaerobic digestion also reduces the odor potential of the wastewater solids.

HBPW has demonstrated a continuous commitment to getting the best out of major infrastructure. This is the utility’s second Envision rating. In 2016, Holland Energy Park was the first base load power generating plant to receive an Envision rating.


“Envision goes beyond the basic efforts of project management and development, into areas that benefit the community in a holistic way,” explained Dave Koster, HBPW General Manager. “Our goal is to bring as much value to those impacted by the project as possible.”

“Options for disposing of biosolids are increasingly difficult to find and the costs are raising. The anaerobic digester allows us to address these challenges in a sustainable way,” said Joel Davenport, HBPW Operations Manager.

Melissa Peneycad, ISI’s managing director, noted: “HBPW and the project partners engaged with the community to ensure its needs and goals were understood and incorporated to the greatest extent possible, and the result is a transformative development for sustainability at the Holland Area WRF that will benefit the community for many years to come. Congratulations to the entire project team on the success of this project.”

“The Envision framework digs into details that ensure that the design and construction will benefit the community for the long haul,” said Sam Bender, HBPW Water & Wastewater Process Engineer. “It is an honor to work through this process knowing that what we build today will continue to have a positive impact far into the future.”


The Envision verification process recognized achievements on this project related to:

  • use of renewable energy to meet current and future demand.
  • demonstrated leadership commitment to sustainability
  • protecting surface and groundwater quality; and
  • alignment with community quality of life goals

View the full announcement in our project directory.