California municipal wastewater facility reduces energy costs with Emerson Motors retrofit

A California wastewater treatment agency has turned to Emerson technology and engineering to help significantly cut energy costs at one of its plants.

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 27, 2001 — With rolling blackouts and increased energy costs a fact of life in California in recent months, interest has grown in using more efficient electric motors to combat what officials are calling the state's most serious energy shortages since the 1970s.

One California wastewater treatment agency has turned to Emerson technology and engineering to help significantly cut energy costs at one of its plants. Through a grant from the California Energy Commission, the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) purchased Emerson-made electric motors for its plant in Ontario, Calif. Agency officials expect the new motors to cut the facility's energy costs by an estimated $27,000 per year.

The plant serves about 700,000 people within a 242-square-mile radius, which includes the cities of Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario and Upland. The plant pumps an estimated 6,000 gallons per minute.

"We were looking for a way to make an immediate reduction on the plant's energy costs this summer," said Gary Bankston, IEUA's Manager of Energy and Maintenance. "The state of California urged us, through the grant opportunity, to pursue methods of reducing our energy costs. The obvious choice was replacing our existing, less efficient motors with motors from Emerson that meet the new NEMA Premium™ standards. We estimated that we could increase our efficiency by 5 percent a year, just by making an initial investment of about $80,000."

— The facility uses vertical turbine and horizontal centrifugal pumps. The pumps went online July 16 retrofitted with premium efficient 60-and 75-horsepower electric motors from Emerson.

IEUA officials were obligated under the grant to obtain bids for the project. Emerson Motors was selected due to its competitive bid, motor performance and ability to deliver the motors within the required five-week time frame, said Dick Schul, Emerson Motors Group Vice President.

"Because of California's current energy problems, this retrofit project was put on the fast track. IEUA needed delivery in five weeks, which is about half our normal delivery time," Schul said. "We were able to build the motors in four and a half weeks and have them delivered to their door within two days."

Emerson Motors, a global leader in the design and manufacture of electrical motors, provides a complete line of general and special purpose electric motors from 1/200 through 4,000 horsepower. Brands such as Emerson, Doerr, US Electrical Motors, Hurst, Switch Reluctance Drives, and Status Technologies allow Emerson Motors to support a wide variety of applications including commercial and industrial, appliance, hermetic, automotive, and HVAC. For more information about Emerson Motors visit or contact the Literature Hotline at (800) 665-4850.

St. Louis-based Emerson ( ) is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions to customers in industrial automation; process control; heating, ventilating and air conditioning; electronics and telecommunications; and appliance and tools. Sales in fiscal 2000 were $15.5 billion.

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