Methane from Grand Junction treatment plant will fuel city fleet

Photo: Persigo Wastewater Treatment Plant Grand Junction
Methane that is now mostly burned off at the Persigo Wastewater Treatment Plant in Grand Junction will soon be converted into compressed natural gas.

Methane gas from Grand Junction's wastewater treatment plant will be converted into compressed natural gas for the city's vehicles, officials say.

The $2.8 million project is the first of its kind in Colorado, according to city officials, and it should be online by spring.

On Tuesday, the city held a groundbreaking for the six-mile pipeline that will send the gas from the treatment plant to the city maintenance campus.

Currently, the methane gas is wasted, said Grand Junction’s utility engineer Bret Guillory.

"Right now, the raw methane gas comes off the digester process at the water treatment plant and is just flared, just burned," Guillory said.

Grand Junction plans to convert the methane into compressed natural gas to fuel 38 vehicles and buses.

City money and a half million dollar state grant will pay for the project. A $1.50 per gallon charge on the compressed natural gas will be used to cover infrastructure costs.