Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility – Energy Cost Savings (2016M-234)

Issued Date
October 28, 2016

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine if Facility officials achieved energy cost savings through the production and use of biogas for the period January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2015.


The Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility, created by the City of Ithaca and the Towns of Ithaca and Dryden, all located in Tompkins County, treats sewage produced in the County. An eight member Special Joint Committee is responsible for general oversight of Facility operations. The Facility’s 2016 budgeted appropriations totaled approximately $3.7 million.

Key Findings

  • Facility officials completed several energy performance improvements.
  • The Facility flared 13 percent of the total biogas produced during the scope period.

Key Recommendations

  • Continue to pursue areas that would generate additional cost savings through expansion of waste stream collections and system upgrades.
  • Address weaknesses in the current flaring system and implement its plan to reduce the amount of biogas flared.