The AlgaeWheel system is a fixed-film treatment process. The “wheels” are partially submerged in the wastewater and are rotated by the buoyant force of diffused air released beneath. Microorganisms and algae grow on the wheels and treat the wastewater. The system is placed in a greenhouse to provide sunlight for the algae and to keep the system from freezing in the winter. As a bonus, there is little odor inside the facility. The AlgaeWheel system provides a reliable system with low energy cost and low operation and maintenance requirements, which is especially important for small communities like New Albin.
Unfortunately, AlgaeWheel was not an approved technology by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. So, Fehr Graham worked with the manufacturer to obtain and provide the data necessary for Department of Natural Resources to grant approval. With this approval, Fehr Graham prepared a facility plan that recommended the AlgaeWheel system, so the city could move forward with funding applications and design.
Construction is estimated at $1.6 million.