Monmouth residents often see a bright flare in the north part of town. It's a burner that keeps excess methane from building up at the city's waste water pre-treatment facility. Someday, it might produce electricity.
City Administrator Eric Hanson said the 15 year-old burner had to be replaced recently. He said the city has installed one that could be part of an energy-generating system.
He said, “What we're doing is kind of a Phase I of that project so that if and when power costs begin to shift back upward we'll be able to take the gas, clean it and convert it to electricity.”
He said energy prices are not high enough yet to make the plan economical. The city anticipates energy prices will continue to climb.
A grant covered $100,000 of the project cost. The city will pay the remaining $300,000 out of the waste water budget. The work also includes maintenance of the trench around the waste lagoon.