September 29, 2015 Blog

The use of biosolids has long been criticized, misrepresented and misunderstood. The fact is that there is over 40 years of factual, scientific history behind the use of biosolids. For example, the issue was studied by a panel from the National Research Council (NRC) and, in its final report, entitled Biosolids Applied to Land: Advancing Standards and Practices, released in July, 2002, the overriding message was that. “There is no documented scientific evidence that the Part 503 rule has failed to protect public health. “ In fairness, however, the report did also state that “additional scientific work is needed to reduce persistent uncertainty about the potential for adverse human health effects from exposure to biosolids.”

In the years since the 2002 National Academy study, research scientists and U. S. EPA have continued to evaluate the potential risks to human health and the environment from use of biosolids on soils. The fact is that there continues to be no findings of significant harm when biosolids are recycled in accordance with regulations and best practices. Today, research and experience are fine-tuning the practices of biosolids recycling, further advancing best practices. For example, further improvements have also been made in terms of understanding the critical importance and environmental relevancy of various forms of phosphorus in soils.

Also, during this same time frame, innovative companies like have emerged after almost two decades of careful, research and development to provide solutions based on sound science and advanced technological processes further rendering biosolids into highly regulated, federally registered/recognized, true biofertilizer products and services. Today, advanced solution providers, like Lystek, (and others like them), are being leveraged not only to create badly needed, quality controlled biofertilizer products, but also to further realize the rest of the inherent value in this wonderful resource to optimize the operations of wastewater treatment plants, creating biogas for green energy and reducing the overall volumes of material that have to be managed.

Unfortunately, because we live in world where he/she who yells the loudest, often gets heard the most, many misconceptions remain about this potentially wonderful resource called biosolids. The message here is to be cautious about what you read and who you believe. This is highlighted very well by author Ted Rulseh in the October 2015 edition of Treatment Plant Operator (TOP), in an article entitled “What You Should Know About Biosolids Critics”. The piece does a great job of reminding us that it’s essential to be well informed about the facts and the people behind some of the claims that have been, or are being, made against biosolids.

The bottom line is that, as human beings we continue to grow in population and consume the raw resources of Mother Earth. As such, we must also accept the responsibility that comes with that, including finding good, safe solutions to deal with the challenges we ourselves create. And, there are two kinds of people in the world, those that are committed to finding ways and means to solve these challenges, and those that are happy to sit back and do nothing but criticize. Which one would you rather be?

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