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Biosolids News

June 15, 2011

NBP News




Charting the Future of Biosolids Management Report 

 The National Biosolids Partnership (NBP) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) have released a new report, Charting the Future of Biosolids Management. The 100-page document summarizes the discussions of a panel of experts who met at a special forum organized by WEF and the NBP last December. The downloadable report highlights current and future trends and offers recommendations for activities to help leverage the potential of biosolids management into the future. Prepared by CDM, the report discusses this new approach in detail by examining several current and future trends in the areas of regulation and policy, technology, operations & maintenance, and training for professionals in the biosolids sector. It concludes with a recommended action plan that includes some tasks that will be taken on by WEF and the NBP, as well as others that might be taken up individually (or collaboratively) by WEF, the NBP, regional associations and/or utilities. The goal of the action plan is to support sustainable solids management for the benefit of the public and the environment.To view the full report, visit or click here

City of Richmond, VA Department of Public Utilities Celebrates NBP EMS Certification

The On May 9, 2011, the City of Richmond, VA Department of Public Utilities Wastewater Treatment Plant hosted a luncheon to celebrate the award, followed that same evening with a recognition ceremony from Richmond’s City Council. City and state officials and vendors who work with the program were invited to offer their congratulations and enjoy homemade food prepared by the treatment plant staff and served at the plant.  The featured speaker was Jim Cox, director of the Biosolids Program from the Water Environment Federation. Clair Watson, superintendent of the Wastewater Treatment Plant, Willie Horton, deputy director for Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater, Chris Beschler, deputy chief administrative officer for Operations, and Robert Steidel, director of the Department of Public Utilities, also offered congratulations. Full Story 

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Around the Nation




Judge Sides with LA in Latest Action on State Sludge Lawsuit 

The June 9 Bakersfield Californian reported that the latest ruling in a state lawsuit over sludge goes in favor of Los Angeles, but Kern County is still very much in the fight. A state judge in Tulare County is set to issue a stay and preliminary injunction June 9 in Los Angeles' lawsuit against Kern County's sludge ban. Los Angeles city and Los Angeles County collectively own more than 8,000 acres in western Kern County, on which they land-apply biosolids as farm fertilizer. In 2006, Kern County voters passed Measure E by an 83 percent margin, banning the import and dumping of the sludge. Los Angeles filed a federal lawsuit to overturn Measure E. That lawsuit was eventually tossed out because the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the federal court should have declined to exercise its jurisdiction to hear the case. Los Angeles soon refiled its lawsuit to overturn Measure E in state court, leading to Thursday's action. The purpose of ruling for a stay and preliminary injunction is to preserve the status quo pending the resolution of the lawsuit. Los Angeles can continue to truck in its biosolids for now but the state lawsuit is still awaiting a final ruling.  Full Story

Problem Formulation for Human Health Risk Assessments of Pathogens in Land-Applied Biosolids - Final Report

EPA announced in the May 26 Federal Register the availability of a final report titled, Problem Formulation for Human Health Risk Assessments of Pathogens in Land-Applied Biosolids (EPA/600/R-08/035F), which was prepared by the National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) within EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD). This document may be useful to Federal, State or local risk assessors and managers, contractors, or other parties interested in conducting microbial risk assessments on land-applied biosolids. In particular, this document provides concepts and planning considerations for conducting human health risk assessments on potential pathogens in land-applied biosolids. The document does not represent guidance, nor does it constitute a risk assessment for pathogens in land-applied biosolids. As one component of U.S. EPA's action plan for its biosolids program, this document summarizes the existing literature; defines critical pathogen stressors; develops conceptual models linking the most likely stressors, pathways and health responses of concern; evaluates the overall quality and utility of available risk assessment data; highlights existing tools and methodologies; and provides an outline of an Analysis Plan that identifies gaps in knowledge and research and methods needed to provide more scientifically defensible assessments relevant to U.S. EPA's decision needs. The document has been updated and revised by EPA based on comments received from the public and an independent, external panel of scientific experts (73 FR 54400).

Report Finds Power Generation From Wastewater Treatment Sludge to Reach 3,845 GWh by 2020

According to a new report issued on June 8 by Marketwire -Power Generation from Wastewater Treatment Sludge - Power Generation, Sludge Management, Regulations and Key Country Analysis to 2020 - rising sludge generation and the employment of efficient sludge management techniques will increase the energy recovery from sludge in future. The cost of power generation from sludge is characterized by the high cost of operations. However, rising energy prices in the international market make investment attractive in power generation from sludge. Power generation from sludge reached 2,939 GWh in 2010 from 2,610 GWh in 2005, at a CAGR of 2.4%. With the anticipation of rising sludge generation, GlobalData expects power generation to reach 3,845 GWh by 2020 from 3,020GWh in 2011. Full Story

Biogas Facility to Power Wastewater Plant in Austin, TX

The June 1 edition Brighter Energy News reported that the purchase of a green-powered generator made possible with federal stimulus funds will provide all the electricity needed to run the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant in Southeast Austin, TX. The Austin City Council approved the $1.2 million purchase on Thursday, May 26. Funding is from a $7.5 million federal stimulus grant awarded to Austin Energy to increase the energy efficiency of municipal facilities. The biogas generator will utilize methane from the sludge treatment process at Hornsby Bend and will be able to consistently generate 700 kilowatts (kW) of power, more than the 500 kW needed to run the treatment plant. The excess electricity produced and fed back into the electric grid will enable Austin Water, which manages the treatment plant, to receive a credit on its electric bill. Full Story

WERF Report - Conducting Effective Community Outreach and Dialogue on Biosolids Land Application: A Primer for Biosolids Professionals

WERF researchers developed a state-of the-science risk communications process that can be used by biosolids professionals to design and conduct effective risk communications through outreach and dialogue with their stakeholders - the people in the communities where there is biosolids application. Based on research and experience acquired through this project and from related industries, the researchers recommend adopting a systematic, science-based approach to building and conducting effective outreach and dialogue with key stakeholders. The Strategic Risk Communications Process offers a useful approach for developing strategies and communications that focus on people's decision making and behavior. This primer provides step-by-step guidance on how to apply that process to design, conduct, and evaluate your dialogue and outreach efforts. Published by WERF. 72 pages. Soft cover and online PDF (2011). Hard Copy Stock Number: SRSK2R08A; Price: $85.00; Subscriber Price: $10.00. More Information

WERF Report - State of the Science on Biogas: Treatment, Co-Generation, and Utilization in High Temperature Fuel Cells and as a Vehicle Fuel

The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) reported on June 2 the availability of a report that explores the significant volume of biogas produced from the anaerobic digestion of wastewater solids is a valuable resource for energy recovery and makes this a leading investment option for plants interested in sustainable wastewater treatment operations. The WERF and the R +i Alliance joined together to investigate the treatment of siloxanes in biogas. Siloxanes are byproducts of wastes containing silicone. Personal care products are typical sources of silicone in wastewater. As part of this study, four reports were prepared and are available to WERF subscribers and the wastewater sector. This document consists of these four affiliate reports: D1a: State of the Art on Biogas Treatment D1b: State of the Art on Co-Generation Using Sewage Biogas D1c: State of the Art on High Temperature Fuel Cells Using Sewage Biogas D1d: State of the Art on Biogas Utilization as a Vehicle Fuel 346 pages. Online PDF: (2011). PDF Stock Number: OWSO10C10A PDF Price: $50.00 Non-subscribers;Subscriber Price: $0.00. More Information

Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades on Tap in Annville, PA

According to the June 7 Lebanon, PA Daily News, financing for a multimillion-dollar upgrade to the Annville wastewater-treatment plant could be finalized by the end of the year, clearing the way for construction to begin.  The wastewater-treatment plant, like all others in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, is mandated to undergo upgrades in order to clean up the waterways that feed into the bay, which includes most of Lebanon County's creeks. A final cost has not been determined yet, but Hugh Rooney, chairman of the Annville Township Authority, told the commissioners in April that the cost of the upgrades has more than tripled from initial estimates, from $4 million to $13.5 million. As a result, he said, sewer bills likely would double by the end of the year from an average of about $75 per quarter to about $185. Full Story

Tampa, FL Approves Ban on Fertilizer

The June 3 Tampa, FL Tribune reported that beginning next spring, Tampa homeowners will have to find an alternative to nitrogen and phosphorus-based fertilizers to keep their lawns plush and green. The city council voted to ban the sale and use of those fertilizers from June 1 to Sept. 30, when the area gets most of its rain. The restrictions — some of the toughest in the state — must pass a final vote on June 23 and won't go into effect until June 1, 2012. Full Story

EPA Report - Planning for an Emergency Drinking Water Supply

EPA issued a June 2011 reportPlanning for an Emergency Drinking Water Supply. Five workshops were convened with about sixty technical experts to review alternative means of providing drinking water in the event of destruction, impairment, or contamination of the public water supply. Various scenarios were assumed, such as destruction or impairment of the water infrastructure by a powerful earthquake and contamination events requiring alternate supplies of drinking water. The term “emergency water supply” is used instead of the equivalent terms “alternative water supply/sources” throughout this report. Based on the severity of an incident, all levels of government (local, state and federal), as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), like the Red Cross, may become involved.


The workshops identified the importance of the development of an emergency drinking water plan by a local water utility, even though, during the actual emergency, other entities (e.g., State National Guard) may be tasked with implementing that plan. The water utility could use this report to assist in developing its plan, i.e., to assemble a group consisting of the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), NGOs, and state officials to determine appropriate roles and to write a plan for their community. The U.S. EPA strongly encourages utilities to regularly review and update their vulnerability assessments and emergency response plans. The emergency drinking water planning could be viewed as a component of the emergency response plan updates done by the water utility.

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2012 WEF Residuals & Biosolids Special Conference – Call for Abstracts

The 2012 WEF Residuals & Biosolids Specialty Conference – Call for Abstracts is now open.  The conference will be held from March 25-28, 2012 at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, NC. Abstract submittal deadline is June 24, 2011.

·         Submit Abstract Online  

·         Workshop or Session Proposal Form  

·         Call for Abstracts (PDF)

More information from WEF

NBMA 2011 Biosolids Conference

The Northwest Biosolids Management Association (NBMA) will hold its 24th Annual Biosolids Management Conference at Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, WA on September 11-13. Early registration fee of $415 includes all conference materials, 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches and the conference banquet.  Registration will open June 30. Continuing education units will also be available. You can reserve your hotel room now ($134 - $176 per night) by calling 1-800-221-7117 - request the "biosolids" room rate. Do you have a biosolids project to share? Reserve your poster space by sending your poster title, authors, short description and contact information to Dana Devin-Clarke, by July 29, 2011.

To view WEF conferences and webcasts, click here





WEF Stormwater Utility Seminar in Chicago, IL  

WEF is hosting a one-day seminar on August 2 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. The seminar will focus on various aspects of stormwater utility management.  The need for funding across the water sector continues to be a challenging topic, and while water/wastewater utilities have a long track record of well-grounded funding systems, the topic of user-based fee structures to pay for stormwater collection and management is a developing and dynamic field. Draft Agenda as of 6/1/11 To support this growing and evolving need, specific topics that will be covered include:

  • Regulatory updates on stormwater (from U.S. EPA)
  • Technical aspects of fee development
  • Public outreach in stormwater utility feasibility analyses
  • Planning considerations for fee-based structures
  • Legal trends on stormwater utilities across the country
  • Legislative updates on stormwater utilities at the state level 


Online Registration More information

WEF Archived Webcast Launch

WEF’s Distance Learning program is excited to announce the release of its archived webcasts. Fourteen newly archived webcasts are being released on June 14th. These webcast topics range from energy conservation and green infrastructure, to pipeline replacement and manhole rehabilitation. Visit the Online Training Website to learn more or e-mail for more information.


To view NBP webcast presentations, click here