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Soil and Composting: free biosolids ... no biosolids ... sigh!

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RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

September 29, 2010
6:00 PM

Post #8128603

I just found out that Everett Washington will give me free composted biosolids! Wild excitement.

Then I found out they aren't bagged, it is is "all the free biosolids you can carry in your own truck".

Sigh. Time to borrow a truck, or line my trunk with very heavy plastic.

Corey
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

September 29, 2010
10:36 PM

Post #8128991

Corey, what exactly are biosolids? What did you think, they were going to make it easy?

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

September 29, 2010
11:11 PM

Post #8129006

"Biosolids" are what comes out of a sewage treatment plant, dried and sometimews pelleted. Around here, at least, they then mix it with sawdust (maybe other wood products as well) and give it another composting step.

Grade A is guaranteed sterilized of all pathogens and is accepted for putting straight onto vegetable gardens, even vegetables for sale.

Grade B is not so guaranteed, and I haven't heard of municiple departments giving Grade B for any residential use. I guess farmers and commerical compost producers are assumed to have common sense, or better insurance.

Around here, a company called Cedar Grove Composting uses a lot of biosolids and a lot of wood products to make compost. Then they mix that with yet more wood and sell it for $30 or more a yard, plus delivery charges.

That's why I was excited at the prospect of free biosolids, maybe with less wood. My compost heap and flowerbeds are hungry for organics!

Given all-clay soil and only a tiny compost heap of my own, you bet I think that a few free yards would make life easier!

That, plus free delivery. And free beer, brought to me well-chilled and already open would be nice.

Corey
Pewjumper
Glenwood Springs, CO
(Zone 5b)

September 30, 2010
4:28 PM

Post #8130431

Rick,

You only want class "A" biosolids, (Sludge). Class "B" CANNOT be introduced into the environment except in specific permitted areas as outlined by the EPA & reveiwed by your state health department. If the biosolids are mixed with sawdust, then you will want to add another form of nitrogen as sludge is usually only about 1-2 percent nitrogen. The sawdust will easily stirp that out as the bacteria use the nitrogen to help it decompose the sawdust. I tend to view biosolids as a soil conditioner. The nightcrawlers will absolutely love you!

Ask them for their sludge analysis, it will tell you everything that is in "that" batch of sludge. Nickel, selinium, chromium, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, etc. If you spread a little probiotic fertilizer in with it like "Dr. Earth #7" and some fresh grass clippings you can't lose!

I am a class A wastewater treatment operater in Colorado. An "Oberscheismeister". LOL :)

Sonny

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

September 30, 2010
5:07 PM

Post #8130497

>> Oberscheismeister

I like that! Thanks for your expertise, mein Scheisfeureher!

I think it is too bad that so many of the laws and regulations we encounter are over-protective, cosmetic, for someone's "special" interest or for lawyer-proofing, than to actually protect us from anything in the real world.

I had assumed that "Class B" only meant "you really ought to compost it more before spraying it on lettuce, but our liability insurance is cheaper if we make boogey-man noises any time this count goes over 10^-5".

I thought that Class A (and probably Class B) were already "digested" if not "composted" and that the sawdust was added later mainly to quadruple the volume they can charge $30 per yard for. From what you say, I guess that B has significantly more pathogens?

Or is it just "significantly more risk that someone will DETECT a pathogen if they audit us"?

Would you say that "Class A" is actually not yet composted in the sense that gardeners use the term?

I was hoping for something high-N and free that I could add to a woody compost heap, or directly into flower beds.

Corey

Pewjumper
Glenwood Springs, CO
(Zone 5b)

October 1, 2010
5:26 AM

Post #8131118

Rick,

In the majority of aerobic wastewater plants, the activated sludge is sent to a clarifier where the solids settle out and the water is disinfeted and sent to a river. The solids are then sent back to the activated sludge tank or "wasted" to a digestor.

In the digestor the sludge is thickened and nitogen is is converted from amonium to nitrite and finally to nitrate. The sawdust provides a source of carbon and helps to soak up the liquids remaining in the sludge.

In sludge composting, a lot of the sawdust and solids are broken down which produces a lot of heat. I believe at 155 F most pathogens and parasites are killed. Class A compost, "biosolids" must meet certain guidlines concerning elimination of vectors, pathogens, pH and heavy metal content.

If you are looking for something to add to a woody compost heap, try grass clippings and if that isn't enough nitrogen you might want to also add a very small amount of real cheap lawn fertilizer. Cheap lawn fertilizer, (without herbicides) is about 28-34% nitrogen and will really kick off your compost pile.

Sonny

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

October 1, 2010
2:08 PM

Post #8131991

Thanks, Sonny!

I agree about grass clipping (or leaves), I just don't have any garss and few leaves. I also agree about small amounts of cheap lawn fertilizer, but have not been able to find a 50# bag of urea since I moved here.

And, frankly, I have so little woody waste, that even truly composted sawdust is needed badly. I just hate paying $30-$40 per yard delivered to add 1/3 compost, 2/3 wood to my soil. I might as well by sawdust and shavings myself, in which case I would probably splurge on pine bark shavings.

I'm glad that heavy metals are monitored.

My own unsubstantiated belief about microbes is that you can kill 99.99% of them, or 99.99999% of them, but nothing can kill 99.99999999% of them. And if you start with more than 10^11 per ton, some escape. Or is it 10^11 per gram?

On the other hand, every time we use a toilet or shake hands, we are exposed to some pathogens. It's all a matter of degree. And I wouldn't want to wallow in the undigested effluent from tens of thousands of people I never met.

Does sawdust go directly into the digestor for aerobic "composting"?
Or is the digestor Step Two, and composting-with-sawdust a distinct Step Three?

I saw some Cedar Grove Compost literature that said they ADDED sawdust, wood products and other additives TO the Class A biosolids before selling it.

So I'm guessing that "digestion" uses some sawdust, and the later "composting" or "second composting" adds even more sawdust. And with Cedar Grove, even more sawdust etc is added AFTER all composting is complete, just to bulk it up.

Corey
Pewjumper
Glenwood Springs, CO
(Zone 5b)

October 1, 2010
4:18 PM

Post #8132196

The Digestor is located at the plant it is step two. The sludge is added to the sawdust at the composting site and that would be step three. The composting site may also add other organic materials diverted from the local landfill; grass clippings, tree limbs, plant trimmings, newspapers, politicians, etc. All of this is run through a HUGE chipper.

The piles are mixed using front end loaders capable of handling three to four cubic yards per bucket.

If you are paying $30-40 per yard delivered, you are getting a pretty good deal, as cotton boll compost up here runs a little over $115 a cubic yard in bags which you have to pick up. The guys at the composting facility at the county landfill won't even talk to you unless you are a landscaper or professional. We pay them 25 cents a gallon to take our sludge.

There is gold in *****, but I have yet to strike it rich! LOL ;)

Sonny

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

October 1, 2010
4:47 PM

Post #8132232

>> The composting site may also add other organic materials ... , politicians, etc. All of this is run through a HUGE chipper.

Thereby removing many toxic and pathological hazards from the environement!


>> The piles are mixed using front end loaders capable of handling three to four cubic yards per bucket.

Except for the smell, that sounds almost as much fun as using a wrecking ball to knock down buildings.

This may be a false memory, but I thought I read somewhere about cattle feedlots that produce cubic MILEs of manure!


>> If you are paying $30-40 per yard delivered, you are getting a pretty good deal, as cotton boll compost up here runs a little over $115 a cubic yard in bags which you have to pick up.

That's probably good to know, but not really what I wanted most to hear. I need to check the "delivered" price. I may be thinking "you haul" for $30-32 per yard, and maybe $40 for delivered ... if you buy 10 yards. It bothers me that this 'delivery' is for driving about two - three blocks right from their yard (the Compost guys, not the town biosolids guys)!

I may stick with aged steer manure in bags, $0.97 to $1.15 per cubic foot, in my trunk. $31 per yard (I guess, plus tax). It's finely screened, NOT full of raw sawdust and big wood chips. I should try to figure out the cost in gas for three trunkfulls.


Corey

Pewjumper
Glenwood Springs, CO
(Zone 5b)

October 2, 2010
7:49 AM

Post #8132978

Rick,

Using steer manure may be a better route for you to go. Composted steer manure is fairly free of weeds and is not "hot" like horse or pig manure where you run the risk of burning plant roots.

If you have a project like the next one I will be working on where I am trying to turn 1800 square feet of high pH clay & rocks into some primo garden soil then bags of steer are a good way to go. Got worms? You can't lose by asking one of the gardening services for some grass & leafs which you spread out to deteriorate over the winter with some earth worms. Add some Dr. Earth #7 probiotic fertilizer and some alfalfa tea and things should be much better by spring.

Sonny

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

October 2, 2010
11:19 AM

Post #8133255

Yes, I should be scrounging around for other people's lawn clippings. Then I wonder how to know if they used herbicides ... maybe the answer is just to compost it for months before using it, and "not to worry" about it.

I also planted a bunch of chard, where I don't really chard all that much. But it sure gets big if you don't eat it. Then the compost heap got a treat when I replaced the chard patch with deliphinium ssedlings. And the slugs got a treat by eating the Delphs. Grr!

Very gradually worms have been showing up.
I wonder where they come from, since all we have here is:
1. clay
2. pebbles
3. rocks
4. asphalt
5 concrete

I always wonder about these bags of manure. The text is a marvel of advertising ambiguity. It is clear that there must be some manure, and some compost, but does not actually say explicitly that all the manure was composted or even aged. Or what % of either one is in the bag.

But the smell and texture say "well composted" and the reaction or plants and soil say "not much sawdust".

I compare it favorably to other "soil conditioners", one of them 3 1/2 times as expensive, and loaded with big raw wood chips. Another brand of bagged "manure" has 10-15% gravel - not even fine gravel! I got tired of screeneing that! Rocks, I don't need to add - Sheeze!

Some day my beds may be clean enough that I can tell whether or not I'm adding weeds. Any weeds that get _added_ have to fight it out with all the pre-existing weeds, grass and crabgrass. Oh, yes. And they have to compete with whatever I planted, if that comes up!

It's funny - the "soil" before I started amending it barely even supported crabgrass. As soon as I drained it, raised it, and started amending it, you could hear the chorus of joy from all the weed seeds that apparently had been lurking for decades: "YESSS! This is what we've been waiting for all our lives!"

But I like a challenge. And it certainly is improving from year to year.

Corey
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

November 10, 2010
7:16 PM

Post #8205690

No, Rick!

Please ask if chemicals are used on those grass clippings. I know that you want to go all organic, so don't invite poisons into your compost pile. If you can get those weeds before they go to see, they will also make good compost.

Oh, and when your delphiniums have stopped blooming, cut them down and surround them with bio-char or ash if you can't get bio-char. I got some on ebay. Read Darius' blog on bio-char here on DG. Also you can find bio-char here on DG. It's great to add to your compost as well.

Evelyn

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

November 10, 2010
7:43 PM

Post #8205730

I'm not passionate about most chemicals, but it's true that plenty of herbicides could be persistent, not kill grass, but kill anything else that;s green.

But I'm so hungry for anything with N in it ... or rather my compost heap and hill-of-clay are ... I'll be hard-poressed to say "no" to anyone with a truck of green stuff.

Corey
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

November 10, 2010
9:00 PM

Post #8205848

All I am saying is...don't be too desparate...you may be sorry later, that's all.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

November 11, 2010
11:30 AM

Post #8206600

True - both weed seeds and herbicides could be with me for a long time.

Once I scavanged the sand from under a swimmingpool to improve soil in bare spots in the lawn. I think he had put persistent herbicide under that pool, to judge from how much balder those bare spots got. Recovered in a few years.

I have not seen those little flags locally, warning you not to wlak on or bretah near the lawn, after some company has sprayed it with nerve gas and Agent Orange. But that doesn't mean much when almost every lawn product includes "weed control moss control bug control" biocides.

Good point. If I can borrow a really dirty old truck, I should be able to haul some free sewage sludge. Hopefully the neighbor, who turned out to have been a farm girl decades ago, will be nostalgic and not nauseated.

Corey
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

November 11, 2010
1:45 PM

Post #8206756

Good luck!

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

November 11, 2010
4:21 PM

Post #8207039

I am picturing myself asking someone if I can borrow their truck.

"Sure. Whaddaya want it for?"

"Ummm ... sewage ... is that OK?"

Corey
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

November 11, 2010
9:30 PM

Post #8207471

HMMM...YUCK!

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

November 12, 2010
10:02 AM

Post #8208106

I was afraid you'd say that.

But it has been "digested", if not yet composted, as I learned from DG Member "Pewjumper".
He's a Class A wastewater treatment operater in Colorado.
His word for that was "Oberscheismeister".

Post #8130431
Post #8132196
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1132006/?hl=biosol...

"The poop is always browner in the other person's yard."

Corey
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

November 12, 2010
10:58 AM

Post #8208178

PuddlePirate
North Ridgeville, OH
(Zone 5b)

November 12, 2010
2:55 PM

Post #8208471

Better an Oberscheissmeister than an Unterscheissmeister.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

November 12, 2010
3:15 PM

Post #8208504

I was going to add that to the original thread so Pewjumper would see it, but this IS the original thread!

Corey

This message was edited Nov 12, 2010 4:18 PM
Pewjumper
Glenwood Springs, CO
(Zone 5b)

November 12, 2010
3:18 PM

Post #8208514

evelyn_inthegarden,

Class A biosolids are a fine source of mild N-P-K and all micronutrients. The only problem I have with biosolids is that it may add more nickel, selenium & chromium to your soil than is advisable over a twenty year span. If lab tests show an abundance of metals in any soil raise a crop of sunflowers and send them to the dump.

There is a BIG difference between a class A biosolid & sludge. Sludge is the raw condensed solids from sewage processing. Class A biosolids are composted & certified by independent labs to meet EPA & state health department standards for use around food crops. I would however wash produce & not use biosolids in any beds where root crops are grown in the growing season when biosolids are applied.

At your service,

Obersheismeister Sonny

LOL ;)

PS: Yes I have spent a few years being an unterscheissmeister. Shoveling screenings which are whatever you throw down the toilet can be an enlightening but grotesque outlook on our society!

LOL? :O

This message was edited Nov 12, 2010 4:21 PM

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RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

November 12, 2010
3:44 PM

Post #8208578

I see that I still misunderstand

Corey:

>> Does sawdust go directly into the digestor for aerobic "composting"?
>> Or is the digestor Step Two, and composting-with-sawdust a distinct Step Three?
>> I saw some Cedar Grove Compost literature that said they ADDED sawdust, wood products
>> and other additives TO the Class A biosolids before selling it.


PewJumper:
>>>
The Digestor is located at the plant it is step two. The sludge is added to the sawdust at the composting site and that would be step three. The composting site may also add other organic materials diverted from the local landfill; grass clippings, tree limbs, plant trimmings, newspapers, politicians, etc. All of this is run through a HUGE chipper.
>
You can't lose by asking one of the gardening services for some grass & leafs which you spread out to deteriorate over the winter with some earth worms. Add some Dr. Earth #7 probiotic fertilizer and some alfalfa tea and things should be much better by spring.
Pewjumper
Glenwood Springs, CO
(Zone 5b)

November 12, 2010
4:44 PM

Post #8208704

After the bacteria at the wastewater plant convert the ammonia in sewage waste to nitrite and finally nitrate we send some of the solids, (bacteria and inert material) to the digestor. In the digestor we drive of as much water as possible while converting nitrite to nitrate and consuming more phosphate & potassium.

We send a 5% solid, 95% water material to composting to be mixed with organic material for composting.

Some facilities use a centrifuge or belt press to increase solids to 30% & decrease water to 70%, 30% solids is almost like ceramics clay. At 8.34 lbs per gallon, water cost a lot to transport.

Some plants produce disenfected solids such as millorganite, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milorganite which is heat treated, disinfected, dried & pelletized sludge. The dried sludge products are usually of the highest quality, but are soil conditioners/fertilizers and not compost as the do not contain raw organic matter such as leafs, grass clippings, etc.

Compost has of few more steps to go through for breakdown by soil organisms than sludge. Think of it as the difference between a fresh salad with dressing and a nutritious smoothie.

At your service,

Oberscheismeister Sonny


A drive into one of my work places...

This message was edited Nov 12, 2010 5:47 PM

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RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

November 12, 2010
6:02 PM

Post #8208839

>> We send a 5% solid, 95% water material to composting to be mixed with organic material for composting.

>> Some facilities use a centrifuge or belt press to increase solids to 30%

AH-hah! I see. I always wondered how dewatering was accomplished: if there are two different methods, probably each has drawbacks. My guy at Everett muttered "it isn't totally DRY ya know".

I never knew what millorganite was. " 5-2-0 " plus carbon and iron sounds good, but "trademarked product" doesnt sound free.

I should probably remind myself that "you get what you pay for" and budget for "high-sawdust soil amnedment" with just a little whiff of N, then use more of my little bag of fertilizer. Or mug the guy who mows my neighbor's lawn. Or chase trucks with lawn mowers sticking out the baack and make offers.

As a result of a kind of a bet, I'm going to get some Fall Rye going (maybe some other cover crop like peas) on 1-2 square yards of currently unused slightly improved clay. Partly to see what the yield is, partly to improve the clay right where I grow it, partly to gain the extra few pounds of compost feedstock, and partly because I've wanted to grow a cover crop somewhere since 1990.

Meanwhile, I keep buying bags of composted steer manure and composting drips and drabs of anything organic that can't run faster than I can.

>> At 8.34 lbs per gallon, water cost a lot to transport.

"A pint's a pound, the world 'round."

Corey

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

November 18, 2010
5:56 PM

Post #8219451

If only the part about politicians was true...

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

November 19, 2010
9:24 AM

Post #8220275

Yes: recycling's finest hour.

"Sales of canvas and quicklime are up in several Western States and rural New Jersey."



GardenSox
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 23, 2011
8:25 PM

Post #8650454

Hi guys. I know this is an old thread, but biosolids appear to be a hot topic all the sudden. Maybe some of you who are more familiar with them want to pipe up on this blog: http://thegoldengecko.com/blog/?p=2251

According to the blog, there is someone out there trying to scare people away from using biosolids.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

June 24, 2011
7:40 AM

Post #8651201

Our ancestors used human waste to grow crops, they called it "Night Soil". If I remember correctly, it was so called because it was collected from the streets at night.

Thankfully, Sir John Harrington invented the first toilet in 1596!

http://blog.toiletpaperworld.com/who-invented-the-toilet/

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

June 24, 2011
1:02 PM

Post #8651943

>> Our ancestors used human waste to grow crops, they called it "Night Soil".

Our ancestors, and many countries today. Plus, as one DGer noted elsewhere, farm workers still plotz in the fields today in the USA,

... some visible fromm highways

... bon apetite!

Corey

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

June 24, 2011
1:20 PM

Post #8651982

I didn't finosh scanniong that blog, but I'm glad that Pouint One of the response caught the big lie: callong biosolids "sewage sludge". Different things.

And calling composted waste "not organic" just boggles my mind.

I thought it was going to be from another "everything is going to KILL YOU" worry wart, but whatever they are rebutting sounds like plain lies and distortions, not the arguable kinds of fears.

Sure low levels of almost anything MIGHT have cumulative effects of SOME kind.

Probably we could be a little healthier if we lived in a different world, with ultra-low population density where no one and no company had any concern whatsoever about costs or yields, and long-term "maybe"s were more imprtant than any real, near term issue becuase there WERE no real, near term issues. Where our household and national budgets had no calls on them other than making everything as perfect as possible.

Admittedly, 70-95% of the beliefs of those I called worry warts are somewhat true, and probably 40-80% are unarguably true.

But there are a few zealots who will say anything to advance a dogma. Maybe they even beleive those things.

But life involves risk, and living in the real world involves trade-offs, and Class A biosolids, tested for pathogens and heavy metals, have less risk than the salad bar at some restaraunts.

(OK, those are the restaurants that I don't go back to!)

But I'll worry about malathione, not iron phopshate and EDTA.

I'll worry about the bio-ethanol industry "burning the topsoil", and much-too-intensive cropping creating a new Dustbowl, not moderate use of chemical fertilizers.

I'll worry about 1/4 of the world being in serious risk of famine (but at least they have public heath programs to prevent plagues.)

I'll worry about lettuce from farmers pooping in their fields, and restaurant workers not washing their hands, not Class A biosolids.

Corey




RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

June 24, 2011
1:48 PM

Post #8652042

I see now that the first responder in that blog says that everything I ever heard or read about biosolids is a lie, perhaps a conspiracy.

Inclduing the DG member who soemtimes calls himself "Scheismeister", who manages a sewage treatment plant.

Once again: "sigh".

I should probably do a lot of research before I express an opinion. In the meanwhile, if I get my hands on any free biosolids, they go straight into the compost heap and as top-dresssing on anything other than salad greens.

Corey
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

June 25, 2011
11:43 AM

Post #8653897

Corey ~ Are you "talking" to "hear" yourself "talk", thinking that no one is following this thread? Not looking forward to having salad at your house if you are using biosolids for salad dressing!! EEK!! I think you get carried away at times, though *most* of the time I enjoy your humorous musings...

I am sure that you are right about the fact that we have too many people on this planet. Is that why we have wars?? Population control??
PuddlePirate
North Ridgeville, OH
(Zone 5b)

June 25, 2011
10:48 PM

Post #8654912

I'm not worried about overpopulation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZVOU5bfHrM Now, as for those ants on my patio ... urrrrrgh. [[ shudder ]]

Maybe I should just dump biosolids on them? ;)

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

June 27, 2011
2:29 PM

Post #8658129

Once I get up on my soap box, the rant just comes out.

>> if I get my hands on any free biosolids, they go straight into the compost heap and as top-dresssing on anything other than salad greens.

Well, I do get squeamish at the thought of fresh biosolids splashing up onto edible greens, even boiled greens. I'm not sure how fussy I would be about a root crop that will be harvested months after adding biosolids. It might depend on how starved the soil is!


Corey
Pewjumper
Glenwood Springs, CO
(Zone 5b)

July 1, 2011
2:27 PM

Post #8666643

I read the article at http://thegoldengecko.com/blog/?p=2251

Kathy from Kellog was right on spot. The comments that followed the article were so full of ignorance that I couldn't read them all because I was starting to get really mad!

I believe that biosolids when PROPERLY COMPOSTED TO MEET CLASS A STANDARDS AS OUTLINED UNDER EPA GUIDELINES ARE PERFECTLY SAFE TO USE AS A SOIL CONDITIONER. Biosolids alone when completely dry are like dust and that is why I say they are a soil conditioner.

Most biosolids are combined with compost type materials and composted in the same way any commercial composting company would. Class A biosolids/compost is strictly regulated, to quote the EPA,

There are different rules for different classes of biosolids. Class A biosolids contain no detectible levels of pathogens. Class A biosolids that meet strict vector attraction reduction requirements and low levels metals contents, only have to apply for permits to ensure that these very tough standards have been met. Class B biosolids are treated but still contain detectible levels of pathogens. There are buffer requirements, public access, and crop harvesting restrictions for virtually all forms of Class B biosolids.

I really wish I could take you all on a tour of a well run wastewater treatment plant, upon entry into the aeration building you would smell a musty, earthy odor that smells just like a box a mushrooms. In fact the next time you go to the market smell the ordinary mushrooms!

I and my fellow operators take our commitment to the environment and the health of all people as a very serious matter, in fact it is a deadly serious matter.

At your service,
Oberscheismeister Sonny
Pewjumper
Glenwood Springs, CO
(Zone 5b)

July 1, 2011
2:56 PM

Post #8666689

Corey and everyone else,

You will never get straight "biosolids" as the upper limit of solids concentration is 35% with 65% water. Biosolids at this level is like modeling clay. This and the more common liquid form at 5% is sent to composters or directly land applied. It is neither a class A or B compost as it has yet to be composted with organic material. The only time you will see straight biosolids is if you buy a product like "Millorganite" which has been heated to kill pathogens and then dessicated and processed to form a pellet like product. Millorganite is a nice soil conditioner that has been certified for use around food crops.

When biosolids are combined with compost material the mass must be raised to 165 F for a specified period of time to kill pathogens. This is some serious steaming errrr...stuff! Ecoli & fecal coliform bacteria are dead long before this temperature is reached, in fact most thermophylic bacteria is dead at 165F.

http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/wastewater/treatment/biosolids/index.cfm

The good Lord created all kinds of creatures including lawyers. If it wasn't safe, don't you think the lawyers would be on this like flies on errrr..stuff? LOL ;)

At your service,
Oberschiesmeister Sonny


This message was edited Jul 1, 2011 3:05 PM

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

July 1, 2011
3:09 PM

Post #8666714

>> You will never get straight "biosolids" as the upper limit of solids concentration is 35% with 65% water. Biosolids at this level is like modeling clay.

Next time I contact the City of Everett Schiesmeister I'll try to clarify what it is that he gives away. I thought it was Class A biosolids (I recall he called it Class A Something). Probably 2/3rds water, I agree. "Biomud?"

I think he said that they PAY Cedar Grove to take it away, so they would rather GIVE it away to people with their own truck.

Since it is combined by CG with sawdust and other wood products, then composted or re-composted, it must have more N, P and K than the (expensive) CG compost. (Except for the water content.)

Normally, i wouldn't be very impressed by hearing that "the government says its safe", but I do trust engineers, and trust lawyers to sue them if they screw up. And I have some remaining trust for the EPA, even though I assume the several republican administrations in a row have weakend them and cut their funding, as with food inspections.

Corey

Pewjumper
Glenwood Springs, CO
(Zone 5b)

July 1, 2011
3:30 PM

Post #8666759

Republicans & democrats have nothing to do with this process. We are dealing with a beauracracy! The EPA gets results as does the state where you process biosolids. If everything doesn't meet standards, everything comes to a screaming stop.

Since the stuff keeps coming and the process comes to a halt, you have a very serious priority problem. All the results of testing are sent to both the state and the EPA. The lab doing the testing sends the results directly to the EPA & the state health department, the Operator in Responsible Charge, (ORC/Oberschiesmeister) MUST report any problems or be subject to possible fines, loss of license and possibly imprisonment.

However we have a job to do and we are winning the war for the public health and the environment.

Enjoy the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5TwT69i1lU

At your service,
Oberscheismeister Sonny

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

July 1, 2011
3:45 PM

Post #8666789

>> Republicans & democrats have nothing to do with this process.
>> We are dealing with a beauracracy!

I have to remember that NOTHING is easy when a beauracracy is involved.

>> possible fines, loss of license and possibly imprisonment.

And that's the GOOD part about having lawyers involved!

In one Dilbert, he's afraid that he might be executed if he foloows his boss' orders, and is told to go speak to Legal. "Can't I just be executed, instead?"

So he says to the lawyer: "I could be EXECUTED! Can you help?"

"Sure, what would I have to do, pull a lever?"

Corey

P.S. Hi, Amanda!


Corey

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 2, 2011
11:19 PM

Post #8669051

All hail The Oberscheismeister !
Seriously, is a palpable relief to have an actual expert chime in on these threads, as sometimes they devolve into "i read this" and 'I think". Not accusing anyone specifically of this, just saying its great to have it straight from the horse's mouth, even if we are discussing "things from the other end"

Interesting to hear this example where the required testing assures that things will run well or be accounted for.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

July 11, 2011
12:39 PM

Post #8686246

RickCorey_WA wrote:>> Republicans & democrats have nothing to do with this process.
>> We are dealing with a beauracracy!

I have to remember that NOTHING is easy when a beauracracy is involved.

>> possible fines, loss of license and possibly imprisonment.

And that's the GOOD part about having lawyers involved!

In one Dilbert, he's afraid that he might be executed if he foloows his boss' orders, and is told to go speak to Legal. "Can't I just be executed, instead?"

So he says to the lawyer: "I could be EXECUTED! Can you help?"

"Sure, what would I have to do, pull a lever?"

Corey

P.S. Hi, Amanda!

Corey


Corey, I don't think Amanda is reading this one...

Evelyn

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

July 12, 2011
11:00 AM

Post #8688212

Just in case she ever wanders this way, there's a buried tease for her. Maybe years from now.

Corey

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