MABA’s Annual Meeting and Symposium November 14, 2018

Edison, NJ (11/14/18) – More than 50 wastewater and biosolids practitioners from the Mid-Atlantic will convene in Edison, NJ for MABA’s Annual Meeting and Symposium. It will be an intentional discussion of regional solutions to biosolids challenges for growing new facilities. We welcome a diverse range of speakers presenting on, public outreach challenges, successful treatment approaches and regulatory issues with a panel discussion featuring state regulators.

We share with you, MABA’s Executive Director, Bill Toffey’s, opening presentation “Framing the Regional Issues: Bringing Global Perspectives to Local Challenges”.

An update will be sent out when all of the presentations from this year’s Annual Meeting and Symposium become available on the MABA Members site.

ReNEW Water Project Measures Water, Nutrients, Energy Recovered By U.S. Utilities

Water Environment Federation (10/5/18) - The Water Environment Federation’s project, ReNEW, analyzes resource recovery by U.S. water utilities Water Project by using data “from national and state databases, publications, and a utility survey, which represents about 25 percent of municipal wastewater flow and about 20 percent of biosolids produced in the U.S…. The first step was establishing the baseline for current resource recovery practices. Later this fall, WEF will announce goals for water utilities to increase resource recovery from baseline levels. New data will be collected on a biannual basis and expanded to Canadian water facilities.”


Kingston to Appeal Decision in Sludge Lawsuit with Pellet Maker Aslan

Kingston, NY (10/4/18) - The city of Kingston has been trying to sever a contract with the Aslan Environmental, the company leasing pellet-making equipment for use at the city's wastewater treatment plant. The system began operation in 2007 and in 2015 the system failed when the main shaft stopped working correctly. While in the process of hiring an engineer to design and manufacture a new main shaft, the city took legal action for breach of contract. The city also claims the company engaged in fraud and bid-rigging when it obtained its contract in 2004. This article explains the details of the court’s ruling. The city will appeal this decision.


Stench of Sewer Sludge Raises Concerns in Loudoun Co.

Leesburg, VA (10/3/18) - Neighbors of a farm that recently applied biosolids on its fields in Loudoun County are complaining about odors and an drastic increase in flies lured to the application site. Members of the county board of supervisors expressed interest in developing legislation that would enable more local control over the application of Class B biosolids.
County Board Summons Virginia DEQ About Biosolids Sites
'It A Smell of Human Feces:' Loudoun County Residents Raise a Stink Over Bio-solid Fertilizer
Concerns Over Biosolids in Loudoun Feels Like a ‘Science Experiment’
Farm Neighbors Renew Objections to Use of Biosolid Fertilizer


Are Colorado Crops Being Fertilized with Human Waste?

Colorado (9/22/18) - This article highlights the use of biosolids on farmland in Colorado. It cites a study by the USGS with the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District as well as some reporting from the Colorado Sun “Where Does Our Poop End Up? Probably Spread On Farmland in Eastern Colorado”.


Plainfield Township Appeals DEP's Ruling on Proposed Sludge Treatment Plant

Plainfield Township, PA (9/14/18) - “Plainfield Township officials say they disagree with the state's decision to waive permits for a former quarry collecting stormwater near a proposed sewage treatment facility.” The quarry is currently used as a sedimentation basin for the landfill and will continue to be used in that manner. Those that are in objection are worried that continued use of the basin and adding fill to the quarry will cause contamination of the water.


Orege Signs SLG Solution Agreement with Town of Hammonton, New Jersey

Hammonton, NJ (9/24/18) - “Orege announced the signing of a 10-year SLG® Solution lease agreement with the Town of Hammonton, New Jersey.” Hammonton is located between Philadelphia and Atlantic City, in a region where biosolids management is a sensitive environmental challenge.


Whanganui Tannery Pulls Chrome Out of Wastewater

Whanganui, New Zealand (9/7/18) - Whanganui company Tasman Tanning plans to commission a plant to remove chrome from its wastewater going to the Whanganui wastewater treatment plant. The plant had received no pressure from the Whanganui District Council and  has instead taken this initiative with a vision for being more environmentally friendly. This action also improves the quality of the dried sludge produced at the treatment plant and opens the possibility of the plant producing a biosolids fertilizer rather than landfilling the material.


Push on to Break Down Stinky Stigma of Human Waste as Council Offers Free Biosolids to Growers

Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia (8/13/18) - Bundaberg Regional Council is running a trial program for farmers offering them free biosolids. One farmer producing macadamia nuts used the biosolids to rebuild soils previously depleted from a monoculture of sugarcane. The trees treated with biosolids have grown faster than other trees and the soils where biosolids were applied are more open and capable of higher water retention.


Permits Requested for Slate Belt Sewage Processing Plant

Plainfield, PA (8/18/18) - Synagro has completed all the necessary permit applications with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. This was a necessary step to continue Plainfield Township’s planning development process for the proposed Slate Belt Heat Recovery Center.


Design-Build Team Selected for Piscataway WRRF Bioenergy Plant

Prince George County, Maryland (8/16/18) - “The design-build team of PC Construction, Stantec, and Hazen and Sawyer recently announced it has been selected to design and construct the first phase of Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission’s $250 million Piscataway Water Resource Recovery Facility Bio-Energy Project in Prince George’s County, Maryland.” The new technologies will help reduce the facility’s greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent while reducing the quantity of biosolids produced and increasing the quality to a Class A product.


Used on Fauquier Farms for Years, Biosolids Still Raise a Stink

Casanova, VA (8/24/18) - Virginia’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission performed a study reviewing research about the risks biosolids pose to the environment and human health and examined the state’s regulations. “The study concluded that state rules for biosolids generally protect human health and water quality.” The study does acknowledge some risks involved with biosolids and recommends that the Virginia Department of Health research the effect on people in close proximity to farms receiving biosolids and to test biosolids to determine their levels of pathogens. This article shares views from the community members in Casanova - a farmer using biosolids, spreader land applying the solids and neighbors unhappy with the practice.


Lockport Sewage Treatment Plant Needs Work

Lockport, NY (8/26/18) - Biosolids at Lockport wastewater treatment plant are pressed and then transported to a composting facility to be further treated and mixed with wood-chips to create a compost. Now the facility is reaching the end of its life and officials are deciding whether to stick with that process or introduce a drying system in the plant that could produce biosolids that would be ready for land application without composting and mixing with wood-chips.


The MABA Signs Proposal to Integrate Biosolids Beneficial Use into Global GAP Standards

MABA, along with wastewater utilities, companies and organizations around the world have signed a proposal from the Biosolids Alliance to request that Global GAP change its restriction of beneficial biosolids use on farmland. Global GAP is an internationally recognized set of farm standards identified as Good Agricultural Practicies (GAP). Through these sets of standards producers can receive certification by demonstrating adherence to the good agricultural practices. The standards currently have a complete ban on biosolids use, but the document, brought forth by proponents of biosolids beneficial use, provides a set of guidelines under which GAP could accept and use to support the sustainable use of biosolids as part of support of a  global circular economy.

View the Proposal to Global GAP-Biosolids Standards.


Everybody knows 55 C x 5 x 3.  A compost pile has to reach 55º for 5 turns with a total of 3 days at temperature between turns.  Those are the requirements to reach pathogen kill to make sure that the compost is Class A and is safe for general use. In our world that is pretty much the ‘apple a day’ equivalent.    Recently Tania Gheseger from Metro Vancouver asked me for papers that show that that same 55 x 5 x 3 kills weed seeds too.  My first reaction was to tell her that ‘everybody knows that’, thinking that it was part of the general wisdom rather than a conclusion from peer reviewed studies.

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Proposed House Bill Would Give Municipalities Control on Sludge Use

Harrisburg, PA (8/12/18) - The proposed House Bill 2281 in Pennsylvania will allow municipalities to adopt and enforce ordinances regulating the deposit, testing, disposal or land application of biosolid material. The bill would also allow a municipality to veto a permit approved by the DEP for the land application of this material. “The proposed bill has been referred to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Committee on Environmental Resources and Energy. The committee can either send the bill back to the house for a vote or it can choose not to act, essentially killing the bill.”


Synagro Announced as Winner of the Global Water Award of Distinction for Water Deal of the Year

Baltimore, MD (8/7/18) - Synagro has been named as the winner of the Global Water Award of Distinction for “Water Deal of the Year” for the financing of a biosolids facility in partnership with the City of Hamilton, Ontario.


Persistent Pollutant Broken Down by Sludge Microbe

New Jersey Institute of Technology (8/2/18) - “Mengyan Li and colleagues at New Jersey Institute of Technology have isolated a bactirium that degrades the pollutant 1,4-dioxane… In the current study, Li’s team found that the DD4 bacterium degraded dioxane and 1,1-DCE in both lab media and contaminated groundwater samples over time and continued to reduce their levels to low enough concentration ranges to satisfy the remediation goals set by several U.S. states.”