MidAtlantic Biosolids Association

Biosolids News You Can Use

PWSA Pleads Guilty to Violating Clean Water Act with Sludge Discharges
Pittsburgh, PA (1/17/21) - The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority pleaded guilty Tuesday to Clean Water Act violations in connection with an investigation of sludge discharge into the Allegheny River.
Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority Pleads Guilty to Clean Water Act Violations

City Of Dayton Invited To Apply For $73 Million Loan From The EPA
Dayton, OH (1/13/21) - The U.S. EPA announced that it is inviting the City of Dayton to apply for a $73 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan. WIFIA, the Water Infrastructure and Finance and Innovation Act, is a financial assistance program that provides long-term, low, supplemental credit assistance from EPA to creditworthy water and waterworks infrastructure projects. The City was notified that three of its wastewater projects, Digester Design and Construction ($58 M), Biosolids Design ($3.3M), and Biosolids Construction ($7.1M) were selected to receive the WIFIA funds.

Village of Yellow Springs Finds A New Way To Dispose Of Biosolids
Yellow Springs, OH (1/6/21) - Renergy is no longer receiving biosolids from the Village of Yellow Springs. Working with Renergy was beneficial for Yellow Springs Wastewater treatment facility’s biosolids management because it required very little transportation cost and solids were given away to farmers in the community as a fertilizer. Now the city is renting a machine to press the sludge and sending it to a landfill. 

Boulder County Plans To Turn 40 Acres Of Open Space Into Industrial Scale Compost Facility
Boulder, CO (1/14/21) - Boulder County neighbors were alarmed to learn the county is making plans to turn 40 acres of what was previously a historic conservation easement into a composting facility with designated wetlands and agricultural land.

State’s New Solid Waste Rules Don’t Solve the Sludge Problem
VT (1/10/21) - Vermont has new rules that require testing soil, groundwater, and the land applied material for toxic chemicals everywhere human septage is applied to the land. Environmentalists are saying more needs to be done to track the source of PFAS and that materials being imported from other states should be tested to the same standard. It was suggested the Department of Environmental Conservation will create a registry for biosolids coming into the state from elsewhere.

Eden, NC Mebane Bridge Water Treatment Facility Completes Installation of BCR Inc.’s CleanB® Biosolids Treatment System
Eden, NC (12/15/20) - BCR recently announced that the Mebane Bridge Treatment Facility in Eden, NC completed the installation of BCR’s CleanB® technology system that replaced an aging, existing digester system. There was a need to replace the existing digester and the facility decided to research alternatives that would meet their 13.5M gallons per day flow needs as efficiently as possible.

Belt Filter Press Shines in Tennessee
Newport, TN (12/29/21) - Kolmine-Sanders gets rave reviews at the Newport Utilities wastewater treatment plant for their belt filter presses commissioned in 2000 and biosolids drying system installed in 2016. This article explains some of the process of how biosolids are treated to Class A quality using the K-S technology.

Oak Harbor Brands Its Biosolids ‘Harbor Green’
Oak Harbor, WA (1/8/21) - Oak Harbor’s Class A biosolids will be marketed as “Harbor Green” to farmers and gardeners alike, according to a draft plan developed by the city’s longtime public relations consultant, EnviroIssues, Inc. Plans shown to the City Council about how to market the material show the levels of chemicals and metals found in an April sample. The roll-out of the marketing is being criticized by council members.

Cambi, Riko to Build Thermal Hydrolysis, Biogas Plant in Ukraine
Lviv, Ukraine (12/20/20) - Cambi and Slovenian engineering firm Riko have been awarded a €31.5 million contract to build a thermal hydrolysis sludge processing plant in the city of Lviv, Ukraine. The biosolids will be used for land application. The thermal hydrolysis and biogas plants are scheduled to be delivered in 2023, with works commencing in December 2020.

Greater Victoria Wastewater Treatment Project Up and Running in Esquimalt
Victoria, BC, Canada (12/15/20) - The Capital Regional District’s largest infrastructure project is now in operation. The project provides wastewater treatment for Victoria, Esquimalt, Esquimalt First Nation, Songhees First Nation, Saanich, Oak Bay, View Royal, Colwood, and Langford and produces a Class A biosolids. 

$775-Million Solution: Victoria's Raw Sewage is no Longer Flowing into BC Waters
Victoria, BC, Canada (12/17/20) - The McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant was constructed along with a new residual solids treatment facility at the Hartland landfill. Prior to the construction of these two facilities 40 billion liters of raw sewage were sent around the South Coast of British Columbia and northern Washington State. Residual solids will be turned into Class A biosolids that will be transported to the Lower Mainland as an alternative fuel source for a cement factory for five years. A long term biosolids management solution is still being looked into.

 

BIOSOLIDS ROOTS

Roots, I have really been into them this year – roots of all kinds. Science articles describing fungal networks that connect tree roots within a forest have thrilled me (Social Life of Forests). I planted 3.5-inch diameter white oaks, one in honor of each grandchild, in hopes that the oaks grow into future legacy trees connecting my “roots” to the next century. I also provided the grandkids a chart that connects them to their roots 11 generations back to 14-year-old John Cooke on the Mayflower in 1621.

My interest in roots extend also to biosolids. I have been tracking the hypothesis that the special effects of biosolids on plant growth are through its benefits to root growth.  The article Biosolids Impact Antioxidant Metabolism Associated with Drought Tolerance in Tall Fescue opines that “ the biosolids may enhance plant antioxidant defense systems through providing certain BAS such as auxin to the soil or by providing organic substrates for soil microbial production of growth hormones… improving turfgrass performance when faced with periodic abiotic stresses such as drought.” I am also tracking the hypothesis that pathways of potential environmental and human health effects from toxic organic compounds (TOrCs) are mediated by their interaction with plant roots.  The research team at MWRD of Greater Chicago authored A Framework to Predict Uptake of Trace Organic Compounds by Plants, and this work was extended in 2020 by the Water Research Foundation report Knowledge Gap Analysis for Plant Uptake Models. The big picture is that a rather narrow number of contaminants of concern in biosolids are likely to pass into plants via root membranes. Unfortunately, perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are among that narrow number.

PFAS is a “root cause” for today’s anxiety with biosolids management. A public WRRF that receives via its sewer system or by tank truck wastewater that is laden with PFAS is at risk of having its biosolids be a source of PFAS contamination to water sources, plants and animals on the farms receiving the biosolids. Plant roots are no barrier to uptake in harvestable crops. Of special concern to me was the surprising evidence, contrary to my expectations, of significant plant root uptake of PFAS compounds by field crops grown on contaminated soils. Maine DEP's Residuals Manager presented results to the EPA’s December National Biosolids Meeting from its summer 2020 investigation into a PFOS/PFOA contaminated dairy farm in central Maine. This investigation discovered dry weight concentrations of PFOA and PFOS in grass and hay that were nearly equivalent to concentrations in soil. This is a significant finding!

Aside from PFAS, is the biosolids profession at risk of discovering other contaminants of concern to crop and livestock? Assessing that risk is “at the root” of the US EPA’s “reinvestment” into the federal government’s biosolids program. Responding to a 2017 Office of Inspector General’s report, the Office of Water embarked on a program to create new tools to evaluate unregulated pollutants in biosolids and their potential for harm to public health and the environment.  EPA has rolled out a Risk Assessment program and has an announced a Request for Assistance -- The National Priorities: Evaluation of Pollutants in Biosolids. The agency has mobilized a research team to evaluate methods and develop working hypotheses, particularly around PFAS and its pathways to crops and livestock. EPA has held a Land Application Field Study webinar and its National Biosolids Meeting, summarized by Ned Beecher at NEBRA.

Even though this $6 million federal investment in biosolids research is long overdue and holds promise of some important new understandings, I worry it will not provide meaningful help to biosolids practitioners. I returned to a Biosolids TOPICs I wrote in April 2020, Existential Risks in Biosolids Management, which drew inspiration from the work of philosopher Toby Ord.  His book, The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity, was released in the U.S. on the eve of the global lockdown in March. The top existential risks Ord describes in his book are artificial intelligence unaligned with human values and engineered pandemics far worse than SARS-CoV-2. A writer for the New Yorker recently interviewed Ord for an updated viewpoint, reported in the article How Close Is Humanity to the Edge?  Ord said he was both  “frightened and encouraged by our response to the pandemic.” He sees, as does the World Health Organization (Coronavirus: Worst could be yet to come, WHO warns), the SARS-CoV-2 as a “warning shot.” Ord is encouraged by the scope of international cooperation and he is frightened by the U.S.’s isolationism. His view is that existential risks ought to be understood by a global collective of people and governments, such that concerted actions to alter such risks can be made, without respect to governmental boundaries in space and, importantly, with a long view to future generations as the beneficiaries.

In my response to Ord’s The Precipice and the fragility he reported in the global economic and health systems, I observed that biosolids management in the U.S. is likewise fragile. I concluded that the “root causes” of biosolids program risks are technology failures, workers negligence and sloth, and illegal toxic releases. Answers to these risks were collaborative technology assessments, worker training and standards, and innovative means of sensing influent contamination. When I consider Ord’s recent comments, I see that in the wastewater industry we accommodate deficiencies in infrastructure maintenance and replacement, we accept inequitable resources for worker training and skills development, and we fail to persuade the public of the value of wastewater systems for the ecosystem services they provide. I believe these are the root causes for the major risks to our biosolids programs.  EPA’s “reinvestment” in the study of unregulated organic compounds of concern are unlikely to significantly improve prospects for successful resource recovery from wastewater, as the TOrCs are not a root cause of biosolids risks.

From where might come the human ingenuity to address the genuine root causes of biosolids risks? A different kind of “root” has been an important step to addressing risks, and this is Project Routes.  Project Routes was a program funded by the European Union (EU) from 2010 through 2014 that “aimed to discover new routes in sludge stabilization treatments leading to high-quality digested sludge, suitable for land application.” Its summary report Novel processing routes for effective sewage sludge management and full report Final Report Summary - ROUTES (Novel processing routes for effective sewage sludge management) laid out a variety of innovations in sewage treatment that accomplished key objectives of dewaterability, disinfection, odor control, and, importantly, micropollutant degradation. Dozens of journal articles and conference presentations came out of this inter-governmental research effort in Europe. Here in the United States, this “Route” had metaphorically no soil in which to grow.

The “route” charted by the EU managed wastewater, with its long view to recovery of biosolids resources, also provided a barrier to flow of TOrCs. The report  Quality assessment of digested sludges produced by advanced stabilization processes offers double-stage digestion with an aerobic element as a promising technology for reduced micropollutants. Others have looked at composting for the ability of aerobic treatment to reduce antibiotics and other commodity chemicals (see Relevant approach to assess performances of wastewater biosolids composting in terms of micropollutants removal). Capital investments made in 2020 may reasonably operate for 20 to 30 years, so treatment technology that treats TOrCs, even if not necessary to meet today’s effluent standards, is an appropriate response to a multi-generational  commitment to resource recovery and the circular economy (see, for instance, Moving toward a waste-free circular economy by example of biosolids). A US EPA initiative to champion new technology “routes” could have a meaningful effect on TOrCs.

The Covid pandemic has a one bright spot for our profession – deployment of wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) for managing risks of coronavirus outbreaks. Several microbiologists well-known to our profession are at the forefront of WBE and advocated for techniques for monitoring biosolids for indicators of community health (How the University of Arizona used No. 2 to solve its No. 1 problem: The coronavirus).

WBE has a much larger potentiality for public health than monitoring for coronavirus. Researchers have suggested such deployment as Wastewater Treatment Plants as Chemical Observatories to Forecast Ecological and Human Health Risks of Manmade Chemicals, which can include monitoring for life style activities (Alcohol and nicotine consumption trends in three U.S. communities determined by wastewater-based epidemiology and Assessing the Potential To Monitor Plant-Based Diet Trends in Communities Using a Wastewater-Based Epidemiology Approach) and for community incidence of illegal drugs (Occurrence of illicit drugs in water and wastewater and their removal during wastewater treatment).

But the potential for WBE surveillance of influent for TOrCs could have great benefits for wastewater and biosolids managers. The Arizona State University Biodesign Institute houses the national repository of representative biosolids sample collected by the EPA for several rounds of the National Sewage Sludge survey.  This institute has provided bountiful portraits of “unregulated” elements and organic compounds in these samples, leading director Rolf Halden to release a proposal for Using national sewage sludge data for chemical ranking and prioritization. As technology advances for real time sensing of influent and biosolids, public agency managers may one day have information to make on-the-spot decisions for wastewater and biosolids treatment before the biosolids is delivered to farmlands. If contaminated biosolids reaches the farm, risk mitigation becomes very expensive.

Getting back to the “root causes” of risks from TOrCs in biosolids, we do well to step back for the wide and long view. Biosolids is not a source of organic micropollutants; it is a sink. The use of WBE sensors and the evolution of robust treatment technologies can go only so far in blocking pathways of human and environmental exposure. “Compounds of concern” which will be reviewed in the EPA risk assessment study, if shown to comprise a meaningful risk, need to be controlled at the source of disposal to public sewers, not after biosolids production and delivery to the farm field.

We are at the edge of having an enormous capacity to manage the risks of chemicals to individuals against the benefits of their use by society.  EPA maintains awesome databases of chemical use in the United States, as in its EPA: High Production Volume List, from which has been extracted the database for the Chemicals in Biosolids.  Environmental releases of toxic chemicals are reported to EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory program by manufacturers around the country. But chemicals required to be reported do not include all TOrCs of concern in biosolids. For our profession, a particular irony is that only in 2020 were manufacturers required to report releases of PFAS chemicals, the class of compounds that is the root cause of the greatest risk today to the biosolids profession. Key to understanding the effects of chemical use and environmental releases is embodied in Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, a document that demonstrates reductions in blood levels achieved by regulatory restrictions over use in consumer products of chemicals in such biosolids-contaminating classes as brominated flame retardants (PBDEs) and antimicrobials (e.g., triclosan). Understanding the risk of society’s use and release of commodity chemicals to all media -- air, water, and land – are much more possible with today’s data systems than in the past, as is argued in the journal article Data engineering for tracking chemicals and releases at industrial end-of-life activities.

Biosolids is the mostly hidden component of the vast flow of chemicals through our economy and ecosystems. In “before times,” biosolids was at the far end of the conveyor, at the end of the process diagram, dropping into a truck, destination unlabeled. This vagueness is now dispelled. Today’s community of far-thinking engineers and technologists, creating the future of environmental stewardship, are seeing the necessity to interconnect flows of elements and energy, returning vital nutrients to the soil as a primary goal, in a circular economy. This vision includes managing the release of chemicals that interfere with the interconnections, drawing on such principles as product stewardship and extended producer responsibility. While the fate of TOrCs in the soil ecosystem deserves a scientific explanation in the near term, in the long view, life on Earth urgently requires Biosolids at its Roots

 

SPOTLIGHT November 2020 - Biosolids Scientists

This issue of MABA SPOTLIGHT features some of our region's scientists. Those of us who were at work at the birth of the nation's national regulatory system recall vividly the key role of the scientific community in shaping the Part 503 standards and parallel state regulations.  But many of these scientists are retired. We are welcoming a new generation of scientists on the scene, filling slots from our retiring science colleagues and addressing new categories of concern. This SPOTLIGHT includes the array of scientific disciplines and place on their career arc.

Elliott Portrait

 

Herschel (Chip) Elliott, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, 814-863-2062, [email protected]  For over 40 years, Chip has been involved in teaching, researching, and consulting in the areas of fate and transport of pollutants in aquatic and soil systems, and the evaluation and design of land-based waste disposal systems.  He has been actively engaged in the national debate on land-based recycling of biosolids and he assisted regulatory agencies nationally and internationally in developing regulatory policies for land application of biosolids and water treatment residuals.  Chip is a registered professional engineer in Pennsylvania and Delaware.  Although he is formally retiring after this academic year, he hopes to stay partially engaged as an emeritus faculty member. In retirement he plans to spend more time, along with his wife Marcia, focused on his family, sensing an urgency to be a countercultural influence in the lives of his 4 children, their spouses, and his 12 grandchildren. 

Matthew Higgins

 

Matthew (Matt) Higgins, Bucknell University, Department of Civil and Engineering, 570-577-1972, [email protected]  His university bio is here.   Matt Higgins is a Professor and Claire W. Carlson Chair in Environmental Engineering at Bucknell University.  Dr. Higgins’ work has focused on both water and wastewater treatment. His main research interests are in the area of solids management and he has focused on processes upstream and downstream of anaerobic digestion including solids pretreatment with Thermal Hydrolysis, anaerobic digestion optimization, co-digestion, and conditioning and dewatering.  He has worked in many of the challenge areas, such as rapid rise foaming in anaerobic digesters, dewaterability of BioP sludges, pathogen reactivation and regrowth in dewatered cake, odorant production, and optimization of thermal hydrolysis. Matt also works on stream restoration and water quality issues with a focus on using wetlands to mitigate agricultural runoff to improve stream water quality.  He's addicted to fly fishing and has recently started a new course at Bucknell entitled "Stream Ecology and Restoration and the Science of Fly Fishing" as a way to further integrate his teaching, research, and personal interests.  When not working or out on the stream doing 'class preparation and research', you can often find him puttering around his homestead, splitting firewood, tending his fruit trees, making maple syrup, and hanging out with his wife and his younger son who is a senior in high school.  Their older son graduated from college last spring with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and is working for GM doing research and development for their EV program just outside of Detroit.

Joshua Cheng

 

Zhongqi (Joshua) Cheng, Brooklyn College of CUNY, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, (718)951-5416, [email protected]. His bio is here.   Dr. Cheng is a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Director of Environmental Sciences Analytical Center (including the Urban Soils Lab) at Brooklyn College. He is an associate editor for the Journal of Environmental Quality. Dr. Cheng is co-founder of the NYC Urban Soils Institute, a member of the W4170 group, Research Advisory Committee for WRF, Healthy Soils Healthy Communities Project, and the Legacy Lead Coalition. His research uses ecological and sustainable approaches to solve environmental problems. He is a fan of both biosolids and The Ohio State Buckeyes football.  At the MABA Annual Meeting, Dr. Cheng was elected to serve on the Board of Trustees.

Torrents

 

Alba Torrents, University of Maryland, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, (301) 405-1979,  [email protected].  Dr.Torrents is a professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, at the University of Maryland, with an expertise in Applied Environmental Organic Chemistry.  She has more than 30 years of research assessing the fate and transport of pollutants in the environment and the use of soil amendments to mitigate risks.  For the past ten years, Professor Torrents's group has focused their research on assessing the fate of endocrine disruptor chemicals and looking at wastewater effluents as nutrient, water, and energy resources.   On biosolids, she has assessed the long-term fate of different organic pollutants upon the land application of biosolids at commercial farms and has evaluated the use of biosolids and compost for in-situ remediation at two Superfund sites.  In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, gardening, and cooking, and can occasionally combine her interests, as when she explored sustainable agricultural and water management practices by the Incan civilization of Peru.

 Pruden PhotoAmy Pruden, Virginia Tech, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, (540) 231-6635, [email protected].  Dr Pruden established the Pruden Laboratory.  This is Dr. Pruden’s bio. She says of her research on wastewater: “my lab’s work has focused on better understanding the effects of conventional wastewater treatment on the dissemination and mitigation of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), microbial contaminants, and other contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) on a local, national, and international scale.” When there is not a pandemic in effect, Dr. Pruden enjoys having her husband, 13-year old son, and 11-year old daughter tag along with her for scientific conferences.  Instead of a family vacation in South Africa, where she would have been attending the International Society for Microbial Ecology conference in August 2020, she and her children stayed at home devoting attention to their vegetable garden and to their cats.  Unfortunately, cats apparently don't like vegetables much, so they ventured out to the grocery store occasionally as well to make sure that everyone was taken care of.  If all goes well, they'll have another shot at South Africa in 2022.  Dr. Pruden's uncle served for decades in the Monroe County drain commissioner's office in Michigan, and she credits her interest in environmental engineering to him. 

Sharp Photo

 

Robert Sharp, Manhattan College, School of Engineering, (718) 862-7169, [email protected].  Robert Sharp is the Donald J. O'Connor Chair of Environmental Engineering at Manhattan College and a process consultant for Hazen & Sawyer Engineers.   Robert has over 25 years of experience teaching and running an active environmental engineering research lab.   In Dr. Sharp’s laboratory, both graduate and undergraduate research assistants carry out fundamental and applied research in the areas of biological nutrient removal and recovery, anaerobic digestion, bioenergy production, resource recovery, and pathogen disinfection and regrowth in water systems. His research results are detailed in more than 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and he has presented over 75 papers at national and international environmental engineering conferences. He is a Licensed Professional Engineer in New York State and is an active member of the Water Research Foundation, the Water Environment Federation, and the Met Chapter of the New York Water Environment Association. In 2019, Robert was named a Fellow of the Water Environment Federation. Weekends invariably find Robert in a pack of cyclists exploring long-distance routes in northern New Jersey, cycling has become his “go-to” sport after decades of knee-banging basketball. With COVID-19 interrupting his normal diet of live music attendance, Robert spends his evenings reading, or better yet with his two night-owl, college-aged children watching the best of online streaming.

 

Protect Your Turf

This last Research Update for 2020 provides little levity.  The way 2020 has gone, we can all use a little levity.  Let’s skip the contaminants and focus on one of those unheralded end uses for biosolids and composts -- our front and back yards.  Here, I am specifically focused on turfgrass, but you can easily extrapolate to include more exotic grasses and even hydrangeas.

Important links to this library include a feature on King 5 News Seattle featuring your favorite Biobull library author: VERIFY: Is natural grass or artificial turf better for your backyard?  And the Drawdown series that I’ve done for BioCycle: Connections: Can Compost Draw Down Carbon?, with a chapter on turf slated for December.

Lawns have been much maligned as sucking up resources like food (nitrogen and phosphorus) and water.  Excess use of both of those resources has also been associated with the degradation of urban lakes and streams.  But lawns can have an environmental upside, one that biosolids and compost make better.  That is the focus of this library.

The first article puts that square of green in front of your house into perspective (Mapping and modeling the biogeochemical cycling of turf grasses in the United States).  There are lots of houses all across the country with that same square of green.  The authors here have estimated the total area in the US currently in lawns or ‘irrigated grasslands’.  It is enough to qualify this as the single largest irrigated crop in the country, covering acreage equivalent to the State of Washington.  In other words, three times as much land as is used to grow irrigated corn.  The authors of this article talk about the benefits of these lawns.  The biggest one is soil carbon sequestration.  High maintenance and plenty of food lead to plenty of growth.  That growth means that lawns are carbon sinks for the first 60 or so years of their existence.  The authors note that the food and water detract from the benefits.

From there the 2nd article is a review of the microbial community and ecosystem services provided by those lawns (Urban grassland management implications for soil C and N dynamics: A microbial perspective).  They looked at a range of studies and found that in general, the microbes that live under the grass are used to living large.  Availability of food and water has made for a microbiome accustomed to using the nutrients efficiently and cycling them efficiently.  Ecosystem services associated with these grasslands include soil formation, nutrient cycling, and soil water filtration and storage.

So, now the state is set -- lawns are not necessarily evil.  They are in many ways a good deal.  They are an even better deal if you keep them green with biosolids and composts instead of fertilizers.  I’ve talked about biosolids for turf before.  One article in the August 2019 library and then again in April of 2013.  This library features 3 new (relatively) articles on the topic, one in part funded with NW Biosolids research dollars.  Articles 3 and 4 in the library come from Greg Evanylo’s group at Virginia Tech.  Article #3 (Compost Practices for Improving Soil Properties and Turfgrass Establishment and Quality on a Disturbed Urban Soil) tests a pulp sludge-based compost as a fertilizer for newly established turf on urban soils.  Two rates, 2.5 and 5 cm depth, incorporated or surface applied are compared with fertilizer alone, fertilizer + straw, and a fertilizer + 0.6 cm compost blanket.  The compost worked the best, better at the higher rate.  Greener grass, reduced soil bulk density, and higher yields were the benefits.  The compost amended soils got better with time.  Paper #4 (Biosolids amendments improve an anthropogenically disturbed urban turfgrass system) is a follow up to the Evanylo paper from last August.  Here different types of biosolids including a Class A material, that material mixed with sand and sawdust (Think Bloom, not Tagro) and composted biosolids.  All worked great.  Even though high rates of P were added, because of the Fe in the biosolids it generally was not available in excess.  Yield in the fertilizer treatment was highest initially and then tanked, recovering a bit towards the end of the trial.  Biosolids, especially the compost, in my opinion, had more consistent high yields.  The blends and regular cake did well too.  All of the organics reduced bulk density.  All stored a lot of carbon, again compost to me did the best.

Paper #5 is out of Washington State University (Composted biosolids for golf course turfgrass management: Impacts on the soil microbiome and nutrient cycling) and reports on biosolids compost applications to golf courses at Joint Base Lewis McChord, just south of Tacoma.  Again, plenty of green grass.  And, again, biosolids did not alter the microbes living in the soil.

The take-home for all of this is that our irrigated grasslands, a/k/a lawns, can be great carbon sinks that provide other important ecosystem services in urban areas.  By using organics like compost and biosolids you make these green lawns both visibly green and environmentally green.  And you get a local customer base.

Stay safe, happy holidays, and see you next year.

 

 

MABA Event Presentations

2020 November Phosphorus 101 Webinar

2020 Summer Webinar Series

2019 Summer Symposium

2018 Annual Meeting & Symposium

2018 Summer Symposium

2017 Annual Meeting & Symposium

2017 Summer Symposium

2017 NJWEA Workshop

2016 Annual Meeting & Symposium

2016 Summer Symposium

2016 NJWEA Workshop