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By: Kelly Ward, Technical Project Assistant (Co-Op Student)

On March 11th, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic and instructed countries to take urgent and aggressive action against its development1. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness of varying severity, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Human pathogenic viruses, such as coronaviruses, enter the atmosphere through feces, urine, and bodily secretions including saliva, blood, and sweat2. The virus is most commonly transmitted when an infected person releases liquid droplets into the air while coughing and sneezing in the vicinity of another person.

As transmission of the virus can occur through bodily fluids, it is important to understand the impact of wastewater treatment on the virus, its transmission and infectivity. Since the COVID-19 coronavirus is novel, there was no existing research in…

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Sarah Mason-Renton, Business Development Manager, recently attended the 37th Annual Innovative Approaches to Wastewater Operations Conference in St. Cloud, Minnesota, on February 4th. This conference was organized by the Central States Water Environment Association (CSWEA) and the Minnesota Wastewater Operators Association (MWOA).

The conference focused on emerging issues and innovative approaches to operations and management across the state of Minnesota.

Aaron Luckstein, from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, kicked off the conference with a presentation on Innovative Permitting Approaches which emphasized beneficial use as a priority for water quality and residuals management. Luckstein provided an overview of various innovative approaches to permitting, including compliance and construction schedules, variances, integrated planning, watershed (rather than site) permitting, water quality trading, and adaptive management. Take home messages included the importance of determining a utility’s needs and goals, evaluating options,…

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Phosphorus Sustainability Challenge

Phosphorus (P) is one of the most critical nutrients for crop production. Global rock phosphate reserves are non-renewable and being depleted by the need to extract P for fertilizer production. At the same time, water quality in rivers, lakes and coastal areas are being degraded due to excess P entering waterways. Both water quality and agricultural crop production depend on more sustainable use of P globally.

The Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance is situated at Arizona State University. It is a membership-based organization and serves as North America’s central forum and advocate for the sustainable use, recovery, and recycling of phosphorus in the food system. The Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance has launched a Phosphorus Sustainability Challenge “to inspire meaningful commitments from all types of organizations – public, private, large and small – to reduce our collective phosphorus footprint…

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Biosolids & Organics Management

Attention: Environmental, agricultural, municipal, recycling & waste management reporters/editors

April 22, 2019 – Cambridge, ON – For Immediate Release | It is almost impossible not to be aware of the alarming rate at which some of our most precious plant and wildlife populations are declining – or, worse yet, completely disappearing. It is also no secret that it is human activity that has been repeatedly identified as the root cause of these challenges. Ultimately, we are responsible for the clear cutting of vital forests and jungle lands, the loss of wildlife habitats, the invention and use of pesticides, abuse of our oceans and fresh waterways, poaching and pollution. Simply put, we are the culprits.

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Attention: Environmental, agricultural, municipal, recycling & waste management reporters/editors

March 22, 2019 – Cambridge, ON – For Immediate Release | According to the United Nations, our current world population is 7.2 billion and is projected to increase by one billion over the next 12 years, reaching 9.6 billion by 2050. As humankind continues to grow in population, it is critically important to stop and think about this year’s theme for World Water Day: “Leaving no one behind”. This is part of the core promise of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, focusing on the idea that we will all benefit as a result of the progression of sustainable development.
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Tractor trailer

The fall is a busy time here at Lystek with plenty of conferences and tradeshows, which gives us a chance to discuss our technology and products with engineers, prospective clients and others in the industry.  Some questions that are often asked are; “Why a concentrated liquid?  Why not dewater it?”  These are reasonable questions since we’re the only solution provider in our sector that produces a product like ours (click here to learn more about our product LysteGro), so it’s a natural question.

LysteGro is a unique product (a CFIA registered fertilizer in Canada and considered a Class A biosolids in the United States) in that it is produced and delivered in a highly concentrated, liquid form (ranging from 12 – 17% solids depending on the feedstock).  Typically biosolids at this solids…

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Landfill Organics

As we continue to shift towards a circular economy we need to keep asking more of ourselves in terms of how we manage the organic waste we all produce so that we may maximize the recovery and reuse of these potentially beneficial resources. This includes organic materials from food, yard, biosolids, and wood wastes among others. Diverting organics from landfills is a major step in achieving this goal.

In many jurisdictions the diversion of organic materials from landfills has been strongly encouraged, but largely voluntary. While this has been marginally effective overall, it has been said that we have reached the peak impact of voluntary diversion. Therefore, to achieve further increases in diversion rates, regulatory change is necessary. The lack of regulatory mandate for organic waste has not only stalled many resource-limited, small rural communities…

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Ashbridges Bay

While wastewater treatment plants and soils are very different systems, both have microbial populations which break down organic materials and convert nutrients in solution into more stable forms. While they exist in different environments and perform different functions, all microbial populations require a readily available food source to perform optimally.

You might have heard that there are more organisms in a teaspoon of soil than people on earth, but did you know what those billions of microbes do? Soil microbes help in decomposition and nutrient cycling. Recent studies have also shown that soil microbes play a far greater role in building soil organic matter than previously thought1,2. While it has been long understood that microbes play a role in building organic matter, the conventional thinking was that soil organic matter formation was driven, for the…

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