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Biosolids News

May 1, 2011

NBP News




NBP Announces Training & Assistance Opportunity

 Thanks to funding supplied by EPA and WEF, the National Biosolids Partnership is offering an exclusive opportunity to 15 public utility agencies or “preparers” to obtain no-cost professional training and assistance to develop a biosolids management program. This program will follow the guidelines the NBP has published on its’ website and is designed, through a combination of webinars, group training and personal site visits to prepare the agency for a final third-party audit to obtain full NBP certification. There are currently 32 agencies which have obtained certification and many of their success stories are on the website as direct evidence of the many benefits of this program. NBP opened this recruitment period with an introductory webinar archived here for your review of some of the details and benefits from two currently certified agencies along with speakers from EPA and the NBP. The recruitment will close on June 1, 2011. The program is expected to be completed by August 1, 2012. To apply for an opportunity to join in this year’s class, please fill in our application and return it to the following address by June 1.

NBP April 21 Sewage Sludge Incineration MACT Standard Webcast Audio Recording Available for Viewing

The audio recording for the NBP April 21 webcast on Implementing the New Sewage Sludge Incineration MACT Standard – Issues and Challenges Ahead is available for viewing by clicking here. The Power Point PDF files for the April 21 webcast and past NBP webcasts are available for downloading by clicking here.

To view NBP Certified and Active Organizations, click here

To view NBP EMS Documents, click here  

Around the Nation




Blue Plains Upgrade Could Produce Valuable Farm Fertilizer 

The Washington Post on April 23 reported that Blue Plains for years has squeezed water out of sludge, added lime to it and dried it. This partially treated Class B biosolids is then trucked free of charge to farms, most of them in Virginia, where the fertilizer is used with substantial restrictions. The yearly cost to the facility of getting rid of the Class B solids is $10 million. But the economics of Blue Plains biosolids could change soon, now that the facility plans to spend $400 million to upgrade its product to Class A biosolids. These are deemed safe enough to put in your mouth — though it’s not encouraged — and would carry few restrictions. And like Milorganite, a Class A biosolids produced by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District on a smaller scale, the Blue Plains Class A solids could eventually be sold. Note: DC Water is a NBP EMS certified agency. Full Story

New Odor-Control, Sludge-Drying System in Place for a Fresher-Smelling Camden, NJ Neighborhood  

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on April 21 that residents of Camden, NJ's Waterfront South neighborhood should not have to worry anymore about what direction the wind blows during their summer cookouts, city officials say. A $30 million sludge-drying facility and $10 million odor-control system are ready to take on the foul-smelling muck at the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority plant on Ferry Avenue, authorities announced Wednesday at the start of the city's second annual Camden Clean campaign. A decade ago, the stench of raw sewage permeated Waterfront South day and night, said Helene Pierson, executive director of Heart of Camden, a nonprofit group aimed at revitalizing the neighborhood.  Note: Camden County MUA is a NBP EMS certified agency.  Full Story

WA County, State and Farmer Involved in Wastewater Dispute

The Longview, WA Daily News reported on April 27 that Wahkiakum County commissioners voted this week to ban the use of treated sludge as a fertilizer — a move that challenges the state's permit system and may stop a Grays River farmer from spreading "biosolids" on his pasture. The ordinance, which was adopted Tuesday by a 2-1 vote, comes just as Seaview-based Evergreen Septic, Inc., is preparing to haul treated wastewater out to Phil Zerr's western Wahkiakum County farm. The ordinance, which goes into effect immediately, bans the use of all "Class B" biosolids countywide. Violators would be fined as much as $1,000. But the state Department of Ecology, which regulates the use of biosolids as fertilizer, felt comfortable with the project and has approved it. Full Story 

FL County Offers Free Sludge-Fortified Mulch 

CBS12 in Lantana, FL reported on April 27 that Palm Beach County is giving yard mulch away, fortified with a safe organic waste product from sewage treatment.  The free mulch will be available at the Lantana Transfer Station as part on an ongoing pilot program starting Friday. Anyone can visit the Lantana Transfer Station at 1810 Lantana Road and pick up free compost/mulch materials, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon. You must hand-load your own material. County officials say the compost is a mixture of yard waste mulch and "waste water residuals," aka the solid material left over after sewage treatment. According to Pat Byers, director of utilities with the Solid Waste Authority, biosolids are "high in organic content and contain moderate amounts of nutrients that are needed by plants. These characteristics make biosolids valuable as a soil conditioner and fertilizer" for horticulture and agriculture purposes. Full Story

Mississippi Sludge to Solid: Double the Green  

The Natchez, MS Daily News reported on April 24 that the City of Natchez may soon be able to bag and tag a recycled product that was once flushed down residents’ toilets. The Natchez Wastewater Treatment Plant’s new solar-powered greenhouse recently produced its first batch of biosolids made from decontaminated and dried out sewage sludge. The batch was completed last week, and the greenhouse’s computer system is currently manipulating weather conditions to speed up the evaporation process for the second batch. The result is a dirt-like biosolids that, when confirmed grade-A by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, can be used and even sold as organic fertilizer. Full Story

Hampton Roads Sanitation District, VA Plans $45M Compost Center

The Virginian Pilot on April 19 reported that the Hampton Roads Sanitation District in Virginia Beach, VA wants to build a $45 million indoor composting center in Seaford, near the Chesapeake Bay, where the agency could once again manufacture its own popular Nutri-Green compost. The sanitation district composts about 10 percent of its biosolids. It incinerates about 77 percent, recycling some of the ash in building materials. The rest of the biosolids, are spread on farm fields as soil enhancement. Full Story

Three Multi-Million Dollar Projects in Works for Portage, OH

The Ravenna, OH Record Courier reported on May 1 that the Portage County Water Resources Department has gotten the go-ahead on three multi-million dollar projects, including a $7.9 million biosolids reduction facility in Streetsboro. County commissioners reviewed the department’s five-year capital improvement plan Tuesday. Commissioners gave the nod to start the biosolids facility as soon as Summit County indicates in writing it is ready to pay its share of the tab. The plant would take sludge from that plant and 10 others owned by the county and put it through a centrifuge and then a continuous dryer. The end product is 92 percent solids and 8 percent water, which is categorized as Class A material by the Environmental Protection Agency. Full Story

New Zealand Council Wants One-Off Sewage Solids Disposal

The Ontago, New Zealand Daily News on April 26 reported that huge mounds of biosolids sludge stored near Wanaka. Testing a stockpile of biosolids at Wanaka's decommissioned wastewater scheme in Ballantyne Rd has been completed by the Queenstown Lakes District Council.  Council representatives will meet Otago Regional Council staff to discuss the next move in the planned disposal of the 8170cu m of stockpiled biosolids, Wanaka Community Board members have been told. Council Wanaka project manager Rob Darby told the board the tests showed the biosolids were similar in quality and nitrogen richness to a high-quality agricultural fertiliser. "Essentially, [the biosolids] are a very good source of nitrogen."  Full Story 

Big City Sludge Bound for Eastern Ontario, Canada

The Ottawa, Canada  Citizen reported on April 25 that after years of debating whether to spread Ottawa sewage sludge on farm fields, it appears eastern Ontario is quietly soaking up thousands of tonnes of Toronto's sewage sludge each year as well. Toronto has signed a contract with Third High Farms of Iroquois to supply a minimum of 10,000 tonnes a year of biosolids -the official word for sludge left over from sewage treatment. The five-year deal runs until 2015, the City of Toronto says. It will be spread on farmland, along with about 45,000 tonnes a year that Third High Farms already accepts from Ottawa sewage treatment. A change by the Ontario Environment Ministry this year allows sewage sludge to be regulated as manure rather than as a pollutant. The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment says biosolids are produced from raw sludge by processes such as anaerobic and aerobic digestion, composting, drying with heat or air, and neutralizing the acids with additives such as lime or cement kiln dust. Full Story

Tonnes of Winnipeg, Canada Treated Sewage to be Buried in Landfill Temporarily

The Winnipeg, Canada Free Press reported on April 23 that the City of Winnipeg will bury approximately 13,000 tonnes of treated sewage in the Brady Road Landfill this year to comply with provincial regulations that forced the city to stop spreading the sludge over croplands. But this disposal method is temporary, as Winnipeg's water and waste department is preparing to build a new biosolids plant that will allow the city to convert treated sewage into compost, electricity or an environmentally acceptable form of agricultural fertilizer. Up until this year, the City of Winnipeg disposed of biosolids -- the waste-management industry term for the semi-solid substance commonly known as treated sewage sludge (biosolids) -- by spreading the material over farmers' fields. Farmers were not charged for the fertilizer-rich material, which is comprised of both waste and the remains of the beneficial bacteria used to digest it as part of the sewage-treatment process. Full Story

To view NBP News Center, click here

To view biosolids contacts across the nation, click here





Residuals and Biosolids 2011: Adapting Residuals Management to a Changing Climate
  • WEF is proud to present the 25th Annual Residuals and Biosolids Conference, focusing this year on local and national perspectives on sustainable biosolids management technologies and programs that instill these new policies. The conference will be held May 22–25, 2011 at the Sacramento, CA Convention Center. Registration information  May 11 - Last Day to Register Online

    Four Innovative Pre-Conference Workshops
  • 18 Technical Sessions
    Topics addressed this year include building public support and addressing political and media issues, future opportunities and emerging technologies, marketing of biosolids and residuals products, environmental management systems, thickening and dewatering, odor and pathogen control, and much more. View the Draft Agenda (PDF).

  • Wastewater Challenge!
    The 2011 WEF Wastewater Challenge, taking place Sunday, May 22 at 8:00 am, is a national competition that's both challenging and fun. This hands-on event requires teams of students to treat agricultural runoff from a biosolids compost facility in order to protect a wetland ecosystem, using an assortment of household products. For additional information, visit
  • Friends of Biosolids Social Event at the California State Railroad Museum
    Join your colleagues Tuesday, May 24 at the California State Railroad Museum located in Old Sacramento. Widely regarded as North America’s most popular railroad museum, there is something here for everyone! A $20 ticket includes a five minute bus ride, two drink tickets, and generous hors d’oeuvres.  

Residuals & Biosolids 2011 Specialty Conference Meeting Schedule

Saturday, May 21                                                                 Time

·        NBP Meeting with Certified Agencies                               1:00 – 5:00 pm

Monday, May 23

  • Agricultural & Ind. Byproducts Subcommittee                  7:30 – 8:30 pm
  • ABBA Biosolids Organization Luncheon Meeting            12:00-1:30 pm
  • Outreach & Education Subcommittee                              4:30-5:30 pm

Tuesday, May 24

  • Bioenergy Technology Subcommittee                               7:00-8:30 am
  • Specialty Conference Subcommittee                              12:30-2:00 pm
  • Carbon Task Force/Biofuels Work Group                          4:30-5:30 pm

Wednesday, May 25

·         Residuals & Biosolids Committee                                    7:00-8:30 am

To view WEF conferences and webcasts, click here





NBP April 20 and 21 Webcast Audio Recording Available for Viewing  

Audio recording of the NBP April 20 webcast on NBP New Biosolids Training Opportunity for Wastewater Agencies is available for viewing. Click here to view. To download the biosolids training application, click here. The audio recording for the NBP April 21 webcast on Implementing the New Sewage Sludge Incineration MACT Standard – Issues and Challenges Ahead is also available for viewing by clicking here. The Power Point PDF files for the April 21 webcast and past NBP webcasts are available for downloading by clicking here

Reducing Microconstituents in Biosolids Webcast: What’s the Role for Product Stewardship

Professionals in the biosolids management fields are concerned about the increasing presence of microconstituents (e.g. trace synthetic chemicals from personal care products and pharmaceuticals) that appear in biosolids and waste water treatment plants. There is a growing interest in exploring the role that product stewardship could play in addressing this problem, since many of the chemicals that appear in small quantities in wastewater derive from consumer products. While the potential risks to human health and the environment posed by these microconstituents still require research for greater understanding, many of those charged with providing effective wastewater treatment and high quality biosolids products are interested in controlling the source of microconstituents that originate in personal care products and pharmaceuticals, which means addressing how unused and other pharmaceuticals are disposed of and how personal care products are formulated and discarded. This free webinar on May 16 from 2:00-3:30 pm EDT will provide an overview of the microconstituents that are of concern to this professional community and the pathways by which they reach wastewater and biosolids. Following an overview of product stewardship, participants will discuss potential product stewardship solutions to the problem. The chemical Triclosan, an anti-bacterial agent found in many personal care products, will be used as a focal point for discussion. Presentations will be given by speakers from the North East Biosolids & Residuals Association and Product Stewardship Institute.

WERF Webcast Recording of 'Effective Biosolids Solutions: Reducing Odors and Reliably Indicating Pathogen Levels' Now Available

The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) March 30, 2011 webcast on Effective Solutions – Reducing Odors and Reliably Indicating Pathogen is available for viewing by clicking here. The web seminar presented the latest research and tools to help reduce biosolids odors. 

To view NBP webcast presentations, click here