In due time, some fads become trends. I am sure when the initial thought of land application of biosolids was introduced many thought it was a fad that would fade away, an expense that they couldn’t afford or technology they could not implement. As the years have passed, many have come to realize the benefit of biosolid land application.
Some facilities are taking full advantage of the land application process because they see it as a trend that helps generate funding as well as help the environment. I inform operators and others in the industry when I see a neat or unique way to do anything related to the water industry. Some facilities have found farmers, other landowners or industries that have a use for the sludge for various reasons. Having a plan for land application in case these sources no longer need or accept the waste is critical for continued savings. As long as there is a market of acceptance for the product, paying for disposal can be eliminated.
A couple of the biggest benefits of the land application are the financial savings of landfill cost and the reuse of nitrogen and phosphorus. Learning to manage the solids, getting the permits and the rate of land application are a part of the learning process in establishing a good program.
One utility helped establish the Biocycle Farm to have an alternate site for disposal. A product that was once a cost to the facility could become an income stream while also meeting an environmental. The following article discusses some benefits and the process of establishing the Biocycle Farm.