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Biosolids News

November 1, 2011 

NBP News





NBP Webcast: Renewable Green Energy from Biosolids – POTW Case Studies to Achieve Net Energy Production

The National Biosolids Partnership (NBP), in conjunction with WEF, is hosting a no charge webcast on Wednesday, December 7 from 2:00 – 3:15 pm EST. The theme of this webcast is Renewable Green Energy from Biosolids – POTW Case Studies to Achieve Net Energy Production.

Renewable green energy potential from wastewater treatment facilities has spurred a tremendous amount of interest in an economy that faces ever increasing costs for energy. This no charge webinar will examine WEF’s role in promoting green energy and present case studies from wastewater facilities to achieve zero net energy utilization to becoming a new energy producer. Attendees will learn approaches being taken from an east and west coast wastewater agency to achieve both zero net energy utilization to becoming a net energy producer; learn about the newly adopted WEF Renewable Energy Generation from Wastewater Position Statement; and learn about biosolids energy recovery methods that are proven, available and emerging. Registration 

NBP October 4-5, 2011 BMP Workshop Meeting Materials for New 2011-2012 Organizations (PDFs) 

WERF Inaugural Awards for Excellence in Innovation Given to DC Water and City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation

The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) recognized DC Water with its Award for Excellence in Innovation for its Biosolids Program, which will cut greenhouse gas emissions dramatically, produce more energy, and create higher quality biosolids. DC Water is one of two organizations to receive this award. DC Water is also a NBP EMS certified agency. Full Story 

The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation is the second honoree of WERF’s Award for Excellence in Innovation for their Terminal Island Renewable Energy (TIRE) project. TIRE is the nation’s first full-scale demonstration of an innovative technology to dispose of biosolids by deep-well placement and geothermal biodegradation. The City of Los Angeles is also a NBP EMS certified agency. Full Story 

City of Los Angeles Maintains NBP Certification and Platinum Status after Audit of Biosolids Management Program 

The City of Los Angeles completed an audit from April to June 2011 of its Biosolids Management Program. The City as part of the National Biosolids Partnership (NBP) was approved to substitute an internal audit for a third party audit. The City’s program has maintained the highest achievement for biosolids management at the Platinum Level. The audit confirmed that the City’s biosolids management program continues to meet and exceed regulatory compliance and environmental performance. The nationally recognized program was found to have exceptional oversight of a wastewater facility and biosolids management operations that successfully protect public health, safety, and the environment.  Management continued to demonstrate a strong commitment to the best management practices in the industry, which included maintaining interested party involvement and public participation. The Audit findings indicate that the City’s biosolids management program meets the expectation and requirements of the NBP EMS Elements and the City’s procedures. 

The audit scope covered several processes of the biosolids management program including contractor activities. One minor nonconformance and five opportunities for improvement were identified as part of the 2011 Interim Audit and steps have been taken to address and correct the nonconformance. A summary of the audit findings are attached to this communication. View the summary report  Full Report 

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Around the Nation




Sun-Dried Success - Solar Power Saves Mississippi Facility Thousands in Biosolids Handling Costs  

A The November 2011 issue of The Treatment Plant Operator reports that when the sun shines on Natchez, Miss., it does more than just brighten the day. It saves the Natchez Wastewater Treatment Facility tens of thousands of dollars in biosolids handling costs. Natchez is the site of a new “greenhouse” solar biosolids drying system. Operational for about one year, it is only the second such drying system in Mississippi. The biosolids process has changed significantly. In the past, aerobic digesters stabilized the biosolids, which then were pumped to a pair of 3-acre, 8-foot-deep lagoons on the plant site. About every 10 years, the lagoons were cleaned, and the largely liquid biosolids were trucked to fields near the airport, where a private contractor injected the material into the ground as fertilizer. The treatment facility produces about 575 dry tons of biosolids per year. Full Story 

The Effect of Digestion and Dewatering on Sudden Increases and Regrowth of Indicator Bacteria after Dewatering

The September 2011 issue of Water Environment Research includes a study where several investigators have reported higher densities of indicator bacteria after dewatering of anaerobically digested biosolids. The increases appear to occur at two points in the biosolids process: the first, referred to as “sudden increase“, occurs immediately after dewatering; the second, “regrowth“, occurs during storage over longer periods. The objectives of this study were to examine the effect of digestion and dewatering processes on sudden increase and regrowth of fecal coliform and E. coli. Samples were collected from five thermophilic and five mesophilic digestion processes, with either centrifuge or belt filter press dewatering. Sudden increase typically was observed in the thermophilic processes with centrifuge dewatering and was not observed in the mesophilic processes with either centrifuge or belt filter press dewatering. Regrowth was observed in both thermophilic and mesophilic processes with centrifuge dewatering but not belt filter press dewatering. Full Article 

New Oxford, PA Municipal Authority has Three Projects in the Works

The October 20 edition of Power Engineering reported that the New Oxford, PA Municipal Authority (NOMA) has three projects in the works that would significantly cut electrical costs, possibly eliminate solid-waste-disposal costs, help other municipalities, and prepare the authority to handle future growth. A five-acre solar-panel field planned next to the wastewater-treatment plant would drastically cut electric costs for that facility, while a small hydro-electric facility could supply about 90 percent of the water-treatment plant's needs. A third project, a biosolids facility, is expected to offer a cheaper sludge disposal option, as well as generate electricity. The projects, all in preliminary stages of development, are being considered as not only a way to save money for the authority, but as a diversified approach for handling future development of the area.  Full Story 

Halifax, Canada Lifts Biosolids Ban

The October 26 CBC News, Canada reported that the Halifax regional council has lifted a year-long ban on the spreading of treated human waste on municipal property. Council voted 17 to 5 to lift the moratorium after hearing that biosolids weren't the cause of a big stink on Dunbrack Street. Consultant Hugh Monty said the smell was likely caused by the fertilizers that were added to the composted sewage sludge. He concluded there was no regulatory or scientific reason to continue the ban. Full Story 

House Bricks to be Made of Sewage from Plant in Leeds, England

The September 22 Leeds & Yorkshire, England News reported that bricks and building blocks used to construct houses could soon be made from incinerated sewage if a plan being trialed in Yorkshire is successful. Yorkshire Water said it was in partnership with a company using burned sewage from a treatment plant at Knostrop, Leeds, to produce the "carbon neutral" house bricks. The burned sludge combines ash with vegetable oil to create the bricks. Yorkshire Water said future building regulations would demand lower carbon. Full Story 

Sludge Dryer Helps PA Wastewater Plant Cut Landfill Costs

The September 15 Reading, PA Eagle reported that at the Exeter Township, PA Wastewater Plant, there's a room that holds a big brown pipe, appropriately labeled "sludge." In the past, dirty water that arrived at the plant was treated and the waste was turned into sludge, which the township lugged to a landfill each day. Now with the completion of Exeter's $6.5 million biosolids dryer facility, the sludge is directed through the brown pipe into a dryer that dehydrates it and turns it into black pellets, or biosolids.
Exeter now dumps the sludge pellets at the landfill only once a week, which is estimated to save about $600,000 a year. Full Story 

Madison County, WI Farmers: No Problem with Biosolids

The September 14 Madison County, WI Eagle Reporter stated that amid the sludge-disposal controversy, many officials and local farmers say it is an environmentally safe way to dispose of human waste. Michael Carpenter and his wife, Lucille Carpenter, said they use sludge on their pastures and fields at their 700-acre dairy farm between Oak Park and Locust Dale. They use cow manure for their crop fields where they grow corn, small grain, soybeans and hay, but sludge for their non-crop pastures and fields. They have been using biosolids on their land for the last 10 years. Michael Carpenter said, “It’s good for the land. You don’t have to put lime on the land. Full Story

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WEF RBC Meeting Minutes from WEFTEC 2011

The meeting minutes for the Residuals and Biosolids Committee that was held during WEFTEC 2011 in Los Angeles, CA on October 19 can be viewed by clicking on either of the two links below. The minutes are also located on the WEF Biosolids Access Water Knowledge channel 

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. 

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Past NBP Webcast Audio Links


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