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Posts Tagged ‘biosolids’

Land application of sewage biosolids for crop production as designed by the Ontario Government

For full text and tables see:  http://www.esemag.ca/0901/land.html

I wonder where the reports are or if they even exist to show that complete tests have been conducted on the hundreds of thousands of metric tonnes of sewage sludge spread on Canadian and American farm land each and every year.

Why don’t I feel better when I read this data??? Apples, grapes etc can have sewage sludge spread as recently as 3 months before harvest. OMG.

Did you know that the feed fed to the cows and other hay/ silage fed animals are the very happy recipients of biosolids?? And the pasture land the animals graze on may have toxic biosolids applied 2 months before grazing?

Did you know that the sod from the commercial sod farm which was laid on your lawn which your children and pets have been rolling around on are also treated to biosolid application??? But it isn’t suggested for home lawns and gardens.

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http://www.montrealgazette.com/cars/Oozing+with+controversy/2079944/story.html

The movement to ban the spreading of cities’ sludge on agricultural lands scored a major victory last week when Superior Court Judge Steve J. Reimnitz ruled the rural municipality of Elgin, 95 kilometres southwest of Montreal, had the right to pass a bylaw banning the transportation, storage and spreading of sludge within its territory.

“Now many other municipalities will pass the same kind of bylaw,” Elgin Mayor Jean-Pierre Proulx said. “I know a lot of them were just waiting for this judgment.”

In his ruling, Reimnitz noted that experts are not in agreement on whether sludge spreading is safe.

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This post is a work in progress and as I unearth more statistics I will add them to this post.

The maximum depth of a fluid sewage biosolid that can be surface applied at any one time is 1.3 cm. This depth is equivalent to an application rate of 130 m3/ha. from an article by M Payne of Omafra (Ont Govt) Environmental Science & Engineering – www.esemag.com – September 2001

If a single application of fluid biosolids is to be limited to 1.3cm you can see why such vast areas of land are being contaminated. It sure begs the question How precise are these contractors in their application????

Ontario- Ottawa

BIOSOLIDS UTILIZATION PROGRAM STATUS UPDATE From 1997 to 2000, over 53,548 wet tons of biosolids have been successfully land applied to farms in and around the Region of Ottawa-Carleton on over 2,117 hectares of land.

Ontario- Toronto using farms in

These include all agricultural land within an area bounded by Hamilton, Brant, Waterloo, Perth and Bruce on the west, Grey,Simcoe, and Muskoka on the north and Peterborough, Hastings and Prince EdwardCounties on the east. Using the three inventory methods, the following results
were obtained for this area:
♦ Based on Method 1, this land area has the capacity to accept
approximately 17,000 tonnes of dry biosolids per year (17,000 t ds/y);
♦ Based on Method 2, this land area has the capacity to accept
approximately 26,000 t ds/y; and,
♦ Based on Method 3, this land area has the capacity to accept
approximately 133,000 t ds/y.
These figures can be compared to the Toronto biosolids generation rate of 63,000
t ds/y, of which 50,000 t ds/y is currently intended for beneficial reuse such as
agricultural land application as biosolids cake or thermally dried pellets. When application is limited by soil nutrient requirements (Method 1),
phosphorus is the limiting nutrient, and there are 22 Counties or Regions,out of 48 in total for the province, that have no additional capacity for
biosolids once manure application is taken into account.

from Biosolids and Residuals Master Plan City of Toronto 2523 040415 R

Quebec

Whatever you call it, the province’s municipalities produce a lot of it: 914,726 tonnes of sludge was scraped out of 700 water treatment plants in Quebec in 2007, the most recent year for which these statistics are available.

About 42 per cent of the sludge was incinerated and 31 per cent was sent to dumps. But the remaining 27 per cent was “recycled” as fertilizer, mostly on farmland.

That’s 246,976 tonnes, can you picture an area

1000 metres long by 1000 metres wide by 1000 metres deep?

its hard to visualize that much shit & chemical toxins I know.

– if you get in your car and drive 1 kilometer turn at right angles drive another kilometer, turn again at a right angle drive another kilometer back to your starting point and look up in the sky 1 kilometer that’s almost how much toxic sludge was applied to Quebec farms in 2007.

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Sewage Sludge (Biosolids) “Recruit to Pollute”

The more I learn the madder I get!  The competition between city governments to acquire more land to destroy will lead to God knows what? How many farmers care enough to refuse free “fertilizer”?  I think if more farmers had enough knowledge and information to make an informed choice they would choose differently.

My first  post on Toxic Sewage Sludge on farm land garnered the most readers; and because I know that it is an issue that not enough people are aware of I hope you don’t mind if I talk about it again. There many sites with great information and organizations working on this very complex problem, I will refer you to them for more information. Please try to ignore the “B.S.” being spouted by the government stakeholders, and biosolid fraternity.  I have read articles by proponents of biosolid application trash and attack the only group steadfastly avoiding their propaganda – the Organic farmers. Please talk about this issue with your friends and family, try to get the message out. If you would like to read about real farms destroyed and the hidden price farmers may have to pay visit  http://www.usludgefree.org/farms.htm

Background information review

“Although the Sierra Club supports the use of pathogen- and pollutant-free treated human waste as fertilizer, such a practice is only possible by separating the industrial waste stream from human waste. Sewage treatment plants are not designed to separate wastes and to produce fertilizer. They were designed to remove pollutants from the wastewater. Many of the pollutants concentrate in the resultant sludges. As a result the exact compostion of any sludge is unknown. Urban sludges are a highly complex, unpredictable biologically active mixture of organic material and human pathogens, some of which are resistant to antibiotics or cannot be destroyed through composting sludge can contain thousands of industrial chemicals, including dozens of carcinogens, hormone disrupting chemicals, toxic metals, dioxins, radionuclides and other persistent bioaccumulative poisons. The Federal Clean Water Act defines sewage sludge as a pollutant.”

Much more really thoughtful insight is available at the following:

http://www.sierraclub.org/policy/conservation/LandApplicationSewageSludge.pdf

If you can stomach it read the disturbing report following to educate yourself on the quandary municipalities across the globe are finding themselves in. I don’t have the answer to the problem, I just know that all levels of government have to stop their obfuscation of the facts, come clean with the citizenry and work towards a solution. They can’t work towards a solution if they won’t admit there is a problem.

Here are some staggering statistics from a report on the MASTER PLAN of the city of Toronto. Their strategy to find a way to deal with the cities biosolids to the year 2025 Staggering in that they are actively searching for more farmland to recruit to pollute. As I’ve stated before try to find a politician who so much as raises an eyebrow to the claims that sewage sludge is nutrient rich and valuable for our farmers. Course Not. As per usual the City of Toronto politicians are no different except maybe greedier. What are they coveting now? Land to bury trash or Land to trash? As a matter of fact its both!

http://www.toronto.ca/wes/techservices/involved/wws/biosolids/pdf/meeting_10_srg_exec_sum.pdf

“This report examines the availability of agricultural land in Ontario for biosolids application. …This analysis is critical since new nutrient management legislation in Ontario, developed in the aftermath of the Walkerton tragedy, may have a significant impact on the amount of land available for biosolids application. The Nutrient Management Act and regulations will for the first time require that farm operations control and plan for the application of livestock manure to land at agronomically acceptable rates.”

{HEAVEN FORFEND- ERGO the allowable quantity of biosolids applied to a farmer’s fields may take a hit; and suddenly farmers have to answer for what enters the groundwater from their land. Hmmm}

The city of Toronto hired a consultant KMK B&V to provide an inventory of farmland potentially available for biosolid application.

“A detailed analysis of Counties and Regions within Central and Southern Ontario was undertaken. These include all agricultural land within an area bounded by Hamilton, Brant, Waterloo, Perth and Bruce on the west, Grey, Simcoe, and Muskoka on the north and Peterborough, Hastings and Prince Edward Counties on the east. Using the three inventory methods, the following results were obtained for this area:

  • Based on Method 1, this land area has the capacity to accept approximately 17,000 tonnes of dry biosolids per year (17,000 t ds/y);
  • Based on Method 2, this land area has the capacity to accept approximately 26,000 t ds/y; and,
  • Based on Method 3, this land area has the capacity to accept approximately 133,000 t ds/y.

These figures can be compared to the Toronto biosolids generation rate of 63,000 t ds/y of which 50,000 t ds/y is currently intended for beneficial reuse such as agricultural land application…… It is also important to note other large municipalities in this area depend on land application programs including Hamilton, Waterloo, Halton and Durham, and will be competing with Toronto for the available land.  ONLY if the application rates used in Method 3 can be realized, will there be ample capacity for all of these programs over the long term. However, analysis presented in the report argues that the land capacity developed based on Method 2 may be the most realistic estimate once the nutrient management legislation if fully phased-in.

Other significant findings include:

  1. When application is limited by soil nutrient requirements (Method 1), phosphorus is the limiting nutrient and there are 22 Counties or Regions out of 48 in total for the province, that have no additional capacity for biosolids once manure application is taken into account.
  2. The nutrient management legislation has the potential to severely limit the agricultural land available for biosolids application, although this limitation will only gradually be realized as more farm operations are phased in under the legislation over time.
  3. Recent amendments to the nutrient management legislation (December 2003) means that biosolids products such as alkaline-stabilized biosolids and biosolids pellets will be treated the same as biosolids, so there is no likely increase in capacity of land available by moving to these higher value added products that could once be distributed and applied as commercial fertilizers.”

CALL YOUR LOCAL MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, CITY COUNCILOR, MAYOR, SENATOR, GOVERNOR -DO SOMETHING!

For more information visit the site of the organization- United Sludge Free Alliance at http://usludgefree.org/

If you can try to find a screening of:

Sludge Diet Film

Description: United Sludge-Free Alliance presents “Sludge Diet”.

This highly acclaimed 52-minute documentary that includes scientists, victims, activists, farmers, and government officials, from the US, Canada, France, and Switzerland, discussing the health and environmental problems linked to using sludges as “fertilizer.”

Learn more about sewage sludge on your food and water supply at our movie nights! Are you ready for the truth?

Sunday May 3 @12:30 – Goggleworks
201 Washington St., Reading, PA: 610-374-4600
http://www.goggleworks.org

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