Wastewater Treatment Facility Switches to LEDs, Cuts Energy Use 50%


The city of Santa Cruz, Calif,. wastewater treatment facility, which processes an average daily flow of 10 million gallons, has reduced its lighting energy use and cost by more than 50 percent.

The facility recently upgraded its exterior and site lighting from high-pressure sodium (HPS) and mercury vapor (MV) fixtures to LED fixtures in an effort to reduce energy use and improve visibility. The HPS and MV fixtures required constant maintenance, generated poor light quality and were more expensive to operate.

The lighting upgrade project, which took five days to complete the installation, is expected to pay for itself in a little more than three years through efficiency improvements, reduced maintenance costs and a local incentive that provided a $5,000 rebate based on energy savings.

The LED lights are expected to last more than 10 years. LED fixtures draw, on average, less than half the wattage of high pressure sodium and mercury vapor.

The lighting upgrade is part of a citywide Climate Action Program to reduce energy use. The wastewater treatment facility replaced 82 fixtures in its solids dewatering building, pre-aeration and tricking filters with LED fixtures.

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