LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Sewage treatment is not pretty, but a new operation in Lewiston can save a pretty penny.

The Lewiston-Auburn Water Pollution Control Authority, or LAWPCA, is powering on its new anaerobic digester system.

The $15 million investment brings solid waste into new digester tanks, which uses microorganisms to break down solid waste.

The tanks reduce the volume of waste by 50 percent, and the process produces methane, which is used to create electricity.

LAWPCA Superintendent Mac Richardson is optimistic that it will provide at least 50, if not 60 percent of the plant's electricity.

The savings should add up to several hundred thousand each year.

"Good for the environment and good for the rate payer: it's the best of all possible worlds," said Deputy City Administrator Phil Nadeau.

The entire process should reduce LAWPCA's carbon emissions by 80 percent.

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