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Biosolids News

October 15, 2011

NBP News




NBP Holds Workshop for Class of 2011-2012 New Organizations

The National Biosolids Partnership held a training workshop on October 4-5 in Alexandria, VA for representatives from the 12 new organizations participating in the Partnership’s biosolids management program. The forum allowed for a discussion of initial drafts of the organizations’ BMP, requirements for each of the program’s elements, and how the elements work together as a system. Over the past few months, NBP staff has been conducting site visits to each of the organizations to review progress in implementing their BMP manual and target dates for completion of their final manual. The next workshop is tentatively planned for early April 2012.

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To view NBP EMS Documents, click here  

Around the Nation




RI Wastewater Treatment & Clean Energy: Turning Negatives into Positives  

A Rhode Island wastewater treatment plant will soon be making use of clean, renewable wind power to supply some 40% of its electricity needs, significantly cutting its indirect greenhouse gas emissions and saving more than $1 million a year in the process. A Florida start-up is working to install a system that uses sludge from wastewater plants to generate clean energy. Investment in combining clean energy and wastewater treatment is on the rise in the US, as public and private sector industry and businesses take on the increasingly pressing challenges of making clean, sustainable use of increasingly valuable water and energy resources. Such initiatives offer Triple Bottom Line benefits to private businesses and public utilities, both over the short- and long-term. Three wind turbines will supply 4.5 megawatts (MW) — 40% — of electrical power for Providence, Rhode Island’s Field Point wastewater treatment plant. The Narragansett Bay Commission is building the 365-foot wind turbines, which will begin being erected on-site in December, the city’s WPRI news network reported. Full Story

San Francisco Bay Area Agencies Want to Turn Wastewater into Energy

The August 9 edition of the Bay Citizen reported that the Bay Area Biosolids to Energy, which comprises 16 cities and water districts—including the City of Richmond and the West County Water District—is coordinating an uncommon, multiyear project to find a more sustainable way to deal with the Bay Area’s human waste. In 2003, the Bay Area Biosolids to Energy coalition was formed to find a way to turn a low value commodity produced in droves into energy. According to Caroline Quinn coalition project manager and engineering services director for Delta Diablo Sanitation District, which handles wastewater for Pittsburg, Antioch and Bay Point, “There’s a lot of energy inherent in biosolids.”  It is not an entirely new idea:  European and Canadian cities have been leading the development of greener ways of dealing with municipal waste.  But the scale of the project is what is new, and Quinn says she hopes the project can become a template for other metropolitan areas to work together to find collective solutions to what is a universal problem.  But the main focus of the coalition is to find the best ideas to fix Bay Area’s biosolids disposal problem. Full Story

Milwaukee MSD May Give Surplus Milorganite to Farmers

The October 5 edition of the Milwaukee, WI Journal Sentinel reported that sales of bagged Milorganite are not keeping pace with round-the-clock production, so the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District is proposing to give up to 10,000 tons of surplus fertilizer free to farmers this year, under a contract to be considered this month by the district's commission. The contract would enable the district to distribute up to 10,000 tons of bulk granular fertilizer free to farmers in each of the next two years if needed to reduce unsold stockpiles, said Jeff Spence, Milorganite sales and marketing director at the district. Spence said his goal is to sell the extra 10,000 tons and eliminate future giveaways. Veolia Water Milwaukee LLC, private operator of the district's sewage treatment plants, regional sewers, deep tunnels and Milorganite factory, would be paid up to $297,000 over the three years to manage the program, under the proposal. Full Story

Construction to Start Soon on Ohio Facility That Will Produce Fuel from Sewage Sludge

The Akron Beacon Journal reported on October 3 that local officials and the Ohio EPA have approved the $4.5 million anaerobic digester in New Franklin, south of Akron. The process uses bacteria that don't need oxygen to consume sludge and yield a burnable gas that can fuel specially converted vehicles. Construction is expected to start this month on a northeast Ohio facility that would turn sewage sludge into vehicle fuel by producing compressed natural gas. The facility will be operated by a subsidiary of Cleveland-based Quasar Energy Group, which has digesters in Columbus, Wooster and Zanesville that produce natural gas and one in Akron that produces electricity. Quasar president and CEO Mel Kurtz says the new facility could produce the equivalent of 3,000 gallons of gasoline a day. Full Story

Sludge Composting Plant Near CA Town Made Famous by Erin Brockovich Wins Approval

Southern California Public Radio reported on September 28 that a five-year battle over a sludge composting plant near the high desert town of Hinkley could be near an end. San Bernardino County supervisors Tuesday removed one of the last hurdles blocking the facility. The county approved Nursery Products' conditional use permit more than a year ago. The company wants to process about 1,000 tons of biosolids a day at an open-air facility about eight miles from central Hinkley. San Bernardino County supervisors voted three to one in favor of Nursery Products' revised water use plan. Supervisor Brad Mitzelfeldt, who presides over the district where the plant will be located, promised that the county will closely monitor the facility's effects on the area. Opponents have hinted that they'll continue to challenge the project in the courts. Full Story

WERF Biosolids Executive Summaries – September 2011

Minimizing Mercury Emissions in Biosolids Incinerators (04CTS7T) This study shows that relative to other sources of mercury emissions in the United States, biosolids incinerators emit much lower quantities and are a minor source of emissions. It will help operators specify and design effective mercury minimization systems and processes. It also helps characterize, measure, and minimize mercury in publicly owned treatment works that practice biosolids incineration in the U.S. Download Now

Evaluation of Processes to Reduce Activated Sludge Solids Generation and Disposal (05CTS3) This study provides valuable insight into cutting-edge research and emerging technologies associated with sludge minimization. Data analysis indicates positive results, although the performance of the same technology is often significantly different at separate facilities. This study also improves the understanding of why some sludges are more susceptible to these technologies than other sludges. Download Now

Strategic Risk Communications Process for Outreach and Dialogue on Biosolids Land Application (SRSK2R08) This report provides biosolids professionals with valuable hands-on tools and guidance to help them better communicate with stakeholders in their communities. The research team developed an instructive Primer for Biosolids Professionals to enable biosolids professionals to design and conduct outreach and dialogue in communities where biosolids are applied. It offers step-by-step guidance on how to adapt and implement the Strategic Risk Communications Process for Outreach and Dialogue on Biosolids. It provides supporting tools and sample materials that biosolids professionals can customize for their own use. Download Now

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WEF RBC Meeting Schedule at WEFTEC 2011

Monday, October 17

Residuals and Biosolids Committee Agricultural and Industrial Residuals Subcommittee

2:00 - 3:00 pm
LACC, Room 501B, West


Tuesday, October 18

Residuals and Biosolids Committee Bioenergy Technology Subcommittee

7:00 - 8:30 am
LACC, Room 503, West

Residuals and Biosolids Committee Biofuels Workgroup

8:30 - 9:30 am
LACC, Room 503, West

Residuals and Biosolids Committee Carbon Resource and Recovery Subcommittee

9:30 -10:30 am
LACC, Room 503, West

Residuals and Biosolids Committee Specialty Conference Planning Subcommittee

10:00 - 11:30 am
LACC, Room 501A, West


Wednesday, October 19

Residuals and Biosolids Committee

7:00 - 8:30 am
LACC, Room 502A, West

WEFTEC Biosolids Workshops

WEFTEC 2011 workshops provide participants with the knowledge and skills to operate under the most up-to-date requirements and practices.  Workshops are comprised of group exercises, hands-on activities, and extensive Q&A sessions.  The following workshops are related to Residuals and Biosolids Management: 

North East Residuals & Biosolids Conference

The North East Residuals and Biosolids Conference will be held on November 9 & 10 in Seekonk, MA (next to Providence, RI). Hotel Reservation Deadline is now FRIDAY, 10/14; NEBRA Membership Meeting - Nov. 9, 11:15 am. This conference is where the top biosolids & residuals managers in the region network.  It's where you'll learn about...

·         Myriad new projects in this region, extracting energy from biosolids and co-digested organics

·          Ground-breaking anaerobic digestion research out of UMass Amherst

·         The impacts on New England facilities of EPA's new sewage sludge incinerator rules

·         The coming of screw press technology

·         The new vision and five-year plan of the National Biosolids Partnership, including news of its EMS/Biosolids Management Program certifications.

And to start it off, there's an optional tour of the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corp. landfill operations in Johnston, RI, where thousands of yards of leaf and yard waste compost are produced and landfill gas is harnessed for power. This is also where NEBRA gets together for our Annual Meeting & Luncheon (Nov. 9, 11:15 am; RSVP to NEBRA).  Register now. More conference details.

To view WEF conferences and webcasts, click here





WEFTEC Special WEFTEC® Issue of Water Environment Research Examines Potential Regrowth in Anaerobically Digested Biosolids

Several investigators have reported higher densities of indicator bacteria after dewatering of anaerobically digested biosolids, an inevitable byproduct of the wastewater treatment process. The effects of these processes on the sudden increase and regrowth of fecal coliform and E. coli are examined in the latest issue of Water Environment Research (WER), the popular journal published by the Water Environment Federation (WEF). Formerly available to subscribers only, selected WER articles are available free to the public on a monthly basis through an open-access program. 


“This month’s open article concerns regrowth of indicator organisms, and by implication pathogens, in anaerobically digested biosolids,” said WER Editor-in-Chief Michael Stenstrom. “This is an important question for biosolids disposal since many of the available alternatives depend on compliance with strict limits based on indicator organisms. Recent work on thermophilic digestion has sometimes noted rapid regrowth of indicators organisms.” Click here to download the open access article, “The Effect of Digestion and Dewatering on Sudden Increases and Regrowth of Indicator Bacteria after Dewatering” by Yen-Chih Chen, Sudhir N. Murthy, Donald Hendrickson, Gordon Araujo, and Matthew J. Higgins.

Past NBP Webcast Audio Links

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