WEFTEC 2011 Happenings

The following are excerpts from the discussion at the Residuals and Biosolids Committee meeting held at

WEFTEC on October 19, 2011


Young Professional (Y.P.) recruitment- throughout the Water Environment Federation Committees are being urged to recruit Y.P.s (under 35 years old) to serve on committees. In addition, the Y.P.s should be given significant roles or assignments in the work of the committee.


Research- WERF is funding a research project on Nanomaterials in Biosolids.

WERF & California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) members sponsored research on emissions of volatile organic compounds from composted biosolids. VOC is a precursor of Ozone. Findings verified that VOC emissions from biosolids compost are low and fairly non-reactive. The report will be published by WERF.

Another WERF report on Pathogen Risk Assessment will be available in early 2012.


Biofuels: State of the Industry is the Title of a 10 page paper published by WEF. A webinar on the topic will be held on January 11, 2012.


New Sewage Sludge Incineration (SSI) regulations are pending at EPA. WEF and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) have been communicating with EPA to reconsider use of the proposed Most Achievable Control Technology (MACT) based air emissions standards. The proposed SSI regulations would move sludge incinerators out from the 503 regulations and apply technology based standards. NACWA says if implemented, the SSI regulations would impose the most stringent regulations in the world. For some parameters the new regulations would be 100 times more stringent than current standards. Depending on how “Sludge Incineration” is defined, the proposed MACT Standards could also apply to sludge that is burned as fuel and gasification facilities. Chris Hornbeck, NACWA, noted that the proposed SSI regulation is based on inappropriate assumptions and a utility will have to spend $60,000 to $100,000 to determine if their SSI can meet the proposed standards. There are 3 lawsuits filed against EPA associated with the proposed rule.


Sam Hadeed of the National Biosolids Partnership recommended we refrain from using the term “Industry”. He recommends replacing “Industry” with “Profession”: as in the Wastewater Profession – Water Resource Profession


USEPA has initiated their Biennial Review (BR) of the biosolids regulation as required under Clean Water Act Section 405(d)(2)(C). This may result in revising the limit for arsenic (As) based on the research that was done for drinking water standards. This research used an “arsenic cancer slope factor” that is extremely controversial. If this same slope factor is used in the biosolids regulations we can expect As limits to be 10 to 20 times more stringent. It is anticipated that more stringent As limits would also effect water reuse standards and NPDES limits.


The WEF annualResiduals and Biosolids Conference will be held in Raleigh, NC on March 25-28, 2012. With the exhibition taking place on March 26 – 27...The theme this year is; Advancing Residuals Management: Technologies and Applications. This conference will highlight beneficial reuse options, science, and technologies currently available to leverage biosolids as a valuable resource. Three preconference workshops have especially timely topics:


Workshop A: The Business of Turning Biosolids into Energy and Fertilizer

Converting biosolids into a valuable resource is a growing trend across the industry. Biosolids have resource value in the form of energy and in the form of fertilizer or soil amendment. The conversion of a previously conceived “waste product” into a beneficial use such as fuel or fertilizer can meet the economic environmental, social and operational objectives of many wastewater facilities. This workshop will focus on where we are in the profession today and what combination of technologies are available to economically recover energy and produce marketable biosolids.


Workshop B: Value-Added Green Products Originating from Municipal and Manure Biosolids – The Direction of the 21st Century

In this decade, the usage of biosolids as a value-added product is going to be the driving force of this profession. This is a result of the public demands and the potential problems related to energy demands and greenhouse gases production. This workshop will clarify the concerns and current understanding of value-added product development related to existing 503 regulations and beneficial reuses.


Workshop C: Why Develop a Nutrient Management Plan? – Emerging Issues in Nutrient Management Programs for Class A and Class B Biosolids

Nutrient management requirements are becoming more stringent, especially with recent changes. This workshop is intended to acquaint managers of biosolids programs with the requirements imposed through this federally mandated nutrient management program. The provisions described in the 590 standards have been incorporated into permitting in several jurisdictions and these nutrient management requirements will be imposed on biosolids operations within the next few years.



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News & Events

Diane Garvey was recently awarded the David A. Long Memorial Educational Service Award by the Pennsylvania Water Environment Association!


This award was established in honor of Dr. David A. Long in recognition of his lifelong service and dedication toward the education and training of wastewater and water treatment plant operators and environmental professionals.


This award is presented to individuals who distinguish themselves through their efforts and contributions to the education of water quality professionals.

DC Water has launched its new branded biosolids product: BLOOM. And you can learn about this project at the new website: 




For more information on any of the above topics, please contact Diane Garvey at diane@garveyresources.com or call 215-362-4444.

Garvey Resources was a partner in the development of the Rodale Institute's Water Purification ECO-Center.  Read about it on our Biosolids Blog.

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