Biosolids in the News 5-18-17

News from the MABA Region

Ag. and Markets Orders Wheatfield to Allow Use of Biosolids on Town Land
Wheatfield, NY (5/23/17) -- Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets of the State of New York, Richard A. Ball, has required Wheatfield to allow the land application of Equate to Milleville Brothers Farms. Ball stated “Although given the opportunity to do so, the Town of Wheatfield did not provide the Department with any correspondence, documentation or other information showing any public health or safety threat relating to the land application of biosolids by the farm operation. The town submitted articles referencing studies evaluating impacts under dissimilar circumstances (e.g., impacts to animals grazing on land where biosolids were surface-applied)."

State Board Approves Spreading biosolids on Nelson sites
Nelson, VA (5/25/17) -- The VA State Water Control Board has approved a permit modification for Synagro to land apply biosolids across more than 100 fields in Nelson County.

AWA Considering Biosolids Options
Altoona, PA (5/21/17) -- Altoona Water Authority currently uses a centrifuge to dewater sludge to create a class B biosolids. Due to a reduction in farmland available for spreading and increasing regulations making application logistics more difficult, the authority is considering investing in a dryer to produces a class A product.

City Considers Adding Sludge Drier to Wastewater Plant
Lockport, NY (5/19/17) -- The Lockport Common Council voted recently to hire Nussbaumer & Clarke, Inc. to conduct a cost-to-benefit analysis on installing a sludge dryer at their wastewater facility for a fee of $26,500. The city’s current composting facility is reaching the end of its life and the sludge dryer would be its replacement for producing biosolids.

News from Beyond the MABA Region

GLWA Confident in Technology at Biosolids Facility
Detroit, MI (5/19/17) --  Sue McCormick, CEO of the Great Lakes Water Authority
wrote this article in response to a previous article shared in our News Clippings titled “New Waste Plant Piles on Pollution in SW Detroit”. Sue affirms the GLWA’s commitment to ensuring NEFCO comes into compliance with all regulations. The authority recently entered into an Administrative Consent Order with the Michigan Department of Environmental quality “which contains a prescribed schedule for the facility to attain compliance with MDEQ air quality regulations by the end of 2017.”
Detroit Biosolids Reuse Plant Blamed for Air Pollution

Treated Waste Fertilizes Crops, but Can Fuel Algae Blooms
Florida (5/20/17) -- Activists in Florida are critical of the lack of regulation around land applying Class AA biosolids. This piece walks through the various stakeholders involved in biosolids regulation in the state.

Sunbreak Farm Would Spread Biosolids Near C-25 Canal, Taylor Creek
TCPalm, Florida (5/24/17) -- TCPalm continues coverage on the use of biosolids in Florida. Sunbreak Farms is looking to land apply 80,000 tons of compost containing biosolids on its land that stretches across two counties. Both counties are considering contesting the permit and have requested the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to extend the public comment period.

News from Abroad

Farm-Bound Sludge Teems with Tiny Plastic Fibres
Brunel University, London, England (5/22/17) -- “The team behind BBC’s Countryfile, one of the nation’s most popular TV programmes, turned to Brunel ecotoxicologist Dr Chris Green to investigate whether microplastics – microfibres and other small plastic pieces – are present in biosolids: sludge from wastewater treatment that’s been pasteurised so it can be spread onto farmland as a fertiliser and soil improver.” The Countryfile episode which aired recently confirmed that microplastics are making it to farmland.

From Toilet to Field: Barrie Poop Becomes Agricultural Fertilizer
Barrie, ON, Canada (5/39/17) -- Wessuc Inc. waste management service transports and land applies biosolids from the City of Barrie’s Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Use of Biosolids in Enhanced Fired Clay Bricks
RMIT University, Australia (5/18/17) -- “This thesis presents and discusses the possible reuse of biosolids in fired clay bricks and the effect of incorporating biosolids on the compressive strength, density, and other physical and mechanical properties of bricks. In this study, biosolids from the stockpiles of the Eastern Treatment Plant (ETP) and Western Treatment Plant (WTP) in Melbourne were used to assess their suitability as a partial replacement material for clay in the formulation of fired clay bricks.”

Turning Sewage Sludge into Fuels and Hydrogen
Oberhausen, Germany (5/17/17) -- “Twelve SME, industrial, and scientific partners, coordinated by Fraunhofer UMSICHT, are participating in a new ambitious research project named TO-SYN-FUEL which will build up, operate and demonstrate the production of Synthetic Fuels and Green Hydrogen from waste biomass.” In the project, sewage sludge will be used to produce green diesel. There will be a four year period where the team will build-up, operate and demonstrate the technology. By the end of the project they hope to have a business case for green fuels in order to support future targets of the European Commission’s Renewable Energy Directive.
To-Syn-Fuel Turns Sewage Sludge into Fuels and Hydrogen