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biosolids -in the US

Sun, 29Nov2009

washlink notes:

While reuse  of human biowaste/ biosolids (along the lines urine feces) for fertilizing is generating great excitement in the developing world, the United States is cautious in its embrace.


The following excerpt  is  from great story that explores this.
It is by SANDY LONG of the River Reporter addressing some of the concerns  as she explores an honest mans adventure in making a lively-hood collecting the content of septic systems, processing it and them applying to the growing fields.

“Biosolids big bucks  A ‘resource’ in more ways than one”


“NARROWSBURG, NY — Some used to call it nightsoil, hearkening to the

see map

practice of applying raw human excrement to farm fields to increase soil fertility under cover of darkness. Back then, local waste hauler Ned Lang’s father applied septage to his own farm at the top of Peggy Runway, now Steep Hill Road in Pennsylvania. “My father utilized this resource, and we had the best crops around,” said Lang, who today provides biosolids, or treated sewage sludge, to 34 sites in Wayne County and two in Pike County, PA.”

“The name of Lang’s product is OrganaGrow, and it is the end result of a process that begins with everything we flush away or pour down a drain. His company, EnviroVentures, Inc., based in Narrowsburg, processes the wastewater it collects from residential septic systems, municipal wastewater treatment plants and food processors throughout the four-county region of Pike and Wayne in Pennsylvania and Sullivan and Orange in New York. “We bring it in, mix it, kill it, and send it out,” Lang said.”

To  meet “…regulations, Lang draws on the services provided by Diane Garvey, president of Garvey Resources, a consulting firm specializing in biosolids for wastewater treatment plants, processors and research organizations”

Lang uses lime to elevate the pH to “…above 12, which kills the pathogens [bacteria, protozoa, enteric viruses and helminth worms].” It is we worth reading the full article on the process an application.

Ms Long also presents the concerns starting  with :

“Whether it comes from cows, chickens, pigs or humans, all manure has an odor. But increasing concerns about the antibiotics and growth hormones fed to animals are now being extended to human waste products, which contain the residues of countless pharmaceuticals in addition to the largely unidentified substances contained in many household cleaning products.”

She does a great job presenting the facts that extend from this.   She  presenting the viewpoints of knowledgeable people including Lang’s and others  like biologist Dr. Sandra Steingraber, “a distinguished visiting scholar at Ithaca College.”

She concludes with the financial potential for this product which is amazing:

“One thing is certain—there is no end to the source material. And there is a potential gold mine available to those positioned to manage the product. According to Harkinson, the Carlyle Group paid $772 million for the sludge-residuals company Synagro.”

the full article can be found “here” at riverreporter.com

further info

Categories: biosolids, Lime, United States
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