Our Northwest

Biosolids: keep it, ship it, or spread it?

Friday, June 21, 2013by  Jon Osterberg

Probably not top of mind for you, but do you ever wonder: Where does the waste end up that I flush down my toilet?
   It’s an important question to some, especially Eastern Washington residents who live near imported post-treatment “biosolids” and who voice concern about King County compost heading their way.
   After treatment and drying, biosolids range from sandy material to spongy dirt clods that, though musty and dank, smell nothing like sewage.
   Many farmers welcome biosolids, which fertilize and enrich their fields. The owner of a Sunnyside fertilizer company said that after spreading biosolids on hop fields, productivity improved and earthworms returned to the soil.
   Yet others call the waste product “sewage sludge” and claim it bears industrial toxins that kill wildlife.
   An Ellensburg legislator supports a bill requiring cities to keep at least some of their biosolids on their own land.
   Currently, a company approved by the state Dept. of Ecology is applying treated biosolids to an Eastern Washington area the size of Los Angeles. Read the Yakima Herald-Republic article.

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Comments on this post

personJordan Firth04/12/2014 07:39 AM
I just found out last week that they are dumping biosolids in Corinne, Utah and have been since October 2012. No wonder I came down with bronchitis and sinus infections (nearly pneumonia). My neighbors have gotten hand and foot disease, mersa, among other staff infections, respiratory problems, etc. we are located in the biggest bird migratory refuge, where at least 3 different ENDANGERED SPECIES live. No wonder our eagles have been dying since October 2012. Obviously depopulation is the agenda and the government has no guilt in killing us off. I've found that we can protect ourselves and our families by detoxing our bodies with parasite cleanses! Get the wormwood clove tincture, as well as bentonite clay and psyllium husks to do a colon cleanse, as well, to help flush the parasites, heavy metals, etc. down. The revolution is near! Make sure you are healthy enough to defend yourself!
personCaroline Snyder06/24/2013 11:31 AM
None of the above. Use it as a source of renewable non-fossil fuel energy.
Biosolids are not just what you flush down a toilet.  It's a complex and unpredictable mixture of human pathogens and industrial hazardous waste which the Clean Water Act defines as a pollutant.  Biosolids is the public relations term for land applied sewage sludge. After complying with a one-time notification requirement, every industry, metal plating shop, superfund site, hospital, dry cleaning establishment, every entity connected to a sewer is legally allowed to discharge ANY amount of hazardous and acute hazardous waste into sewage treatment plants; here these pollutants, as well as hundreds others are REMOVED from the waste water and concentrate in the resulting sludge.  Treating this material does not remove toxic and persistent pollutants which end up in the food chain when this contaminated waste is spread on land. Worse, recent studies have shown that treating sludge creates superbugs as the more easily destroyed pathogens are deactivated, so antibiotic resistant bacteria can proliferate.
Many hundreds of sludge-exposed neighbors have suffered serious respiratory ailments including asthma attacks and a rare form of pneumonia. After the 2002 groundbreaking research by microbiologist David Lewis, then a high-ranking EPA scientist, documented illnesses and deaths linked to sludge-exposure, the National Academy of Sciences recommended dozens of changes to up-date the current regulations;to this date,  none of them have been implemented.
No environmental, health, or food safety group supports using biosolids as a fertilizer.  Even the National Farmers Union opposes the practice.  Major food processors, such as Heinz, Del Monte, Kraft, Nestle, Western Growers all refuse to accept produce grown on land treated with biosolids.
There is no credible science to support this practice.
For documentation visit www.sludgefacts.org

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