Hartford, CT – Connecticut Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Commissioner Michelle Gilman and Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Katie Dykes today announced the completion of filtration and pump infrastructure improvements at the Quinebaug Valley State Trout Hatchery in Plainfield. The new improvements to the hatchery will save thousands of gallons of water daily, reduce the hatchery’s environmental impact, and reach the State of Connecticut closer to the goals set in Governor Lamont’s Executive Order 1 in reducing the state’s water consumption by 10% by 2030.
The improvements include the installation of new filters and pumps, as well as the rehabilitation of the hatchery’s water treatment system. The project was executed by the DAS and funded by the DEEP’s Lead By Example Program for $6.7 million.
“These improvements are in-line with DAS’ goals to implement sustainable solutions in all of our projects and programs,” said DAS Commissioner Michelle Gilman. “As we continue to modernize state facilities, and provide services to Connecticut residents, DAS is committed to finding environmentally sustainable solutions in collaboration with our state agency partners.”
“These kinds of improvements demonstrate the kind of leading by example Governor Lamont envisioned when he expanded the GreenerGov program,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “This project is an incredible synergy of DEEP’s mission – providing outdoor recreation opportunities for Connecticut residents, driving tourism by offering one of the best recreational fisheries in the country, making our operations more energy efficient and saving residents money, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Thank you to our DAS partners, and our fisheries, energy, and engineering teams at DEEP for bringing this project to fruition.”
The Quinebaug Valley Trout Hatchery was chosen as an ideal candidate for the GreenerGov program because it consumes more water and energy than any other building or facility in DEEP’s fleet of more than 1,000 buildings; in fact, Quinebaug consumes 162% more energy than the next largest DEEP consumer. The Quinebaug Hatchery draws water from 12 high volume production wells 24 hours a day and 365 days a year which equates to 1,290,816,000 gallons of groundwater annually. This project is designed to cut annual water use at the hatchery in half and reduce energy use by 8% – creating greener operations at one of DEEP’s most important facilities.
The new filtration and pump infrastructure will allow the hatchery to recycle water more efficiently, which will save thousands of gallons of water daily. The improvements will also reduce the hatchery’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. A few of the anticipated impacts of the new design and systems at The Quinebaug Valley State Trout Hatchery:
- Designed to conserve between 632,499,840 and 946,080,000 gallons of groundwater annually significantly reducing the stress on the aquifer.
- The rehabilitation project allows for the resting of three or four production wells for months at a time. Extending the operational life of well equipment, withdrawing less water from the aquifer, and making the hatchery more resilient to climate change, specifically drought.
- The frequency of well cleanings will be halved from every three years to every six, reducing annual well cleaning costs from $120,000 to $60,000.
- The use of chemical formalin treatments for disease and fungus control has decreased by nearly 90% using treated recycled water and saving more than $25,000 per year.
- Overall decrease in annual energy consumption of 218,401 kWh or a 7.9% reduction factoring in reduced consumption from the wells and reuse pumps while adding in the energy required to operate the recirculating aquaculture system.
- Annual operational cost savings of more than $100,000 considering energy savings, decrease in well cleanings and reduced need for chemical fish treatments.
- It is projected that the full implementation of the project will result in a 154 metric ton reduction in greenhouse gas production. (EPA)
- Overall operational cost savings equates to a 38-year payback.
The Quinebaug Valley State Trout Hatchery is one of three trout hatcheries operated by DEEP. The hatchery produces approximately 1 million trout annually, which are stocked in Connecticut’s rivers and streams.
The improvements at the Quinebaug Valley State Trout Hatchery are a testament to the state’s commitment to water conservation and environmental protection. The project will help to ensure that the hatchery can continue to provide high-quality trout for many years to come, while also conserving water and reducing the hatchery’s environmental impact.