Just don’t call it sludge.
Surely this byproduct of wastewater treatment processes — which has the ability to produce energy, the potential to save water departments money, and in some cases generate revenue — deserves a more dignified name?
Biosolids management isn’t new, but the solutions and challenges are continually evolving. With so many variables at work, shifting regulations, new technology being developed all the time, and no single formula for success, wading through the choices can be daunting.
This weekend, the world’s wastewater experts are convening in Los Angeles for the 84th annual Water Environment Federation Exhibition and Conference, where they’ll be examining a host of water and wastewater issues.
This includes putting the spotlight on the state of the biosolids industry and residuals management opportunities for water managers to consider as they plan for the future and seek public support.
The wastewater industry is rapidly shifting its thinking about biosolids from something that just needs to be discarded to an asset with many potential uses that are very valuable. Land application, heat and power generation, and fuel for electricity production are just a few of the possible uses. The right biosolids solution can reduce costs for a wastewater management system and even make money. This Special Edition highlights the solutions and approaches that make the most of biosolids as a renewable resource.
On Monday, read about how the City of St. Petersburg, Fla., sifted through dozens of scenarios using a decision-making toolkit that led to a creative plan to upgrade the City’s biosolids management program. The city will be able to harvest more energy and to produce a Class A product that will be suitable for land application as restrictions tighten.
Tuesday’s installment will look at how three wastewater utilities — DC Water, Victoria and St. Petersburg — selected the optimal biosolids management program for their communities from a universe of options.
Get coverage of the annual awards banquet Wednesday as WERF recognizes leading scientists, engineers and utilities. And stay tuned next week for a wrap-up of what was hot at WEFTEC 2011.