Event Title

The Most Nutrient Rich Waste Created and It Ends Up in Our Water Systems

Presentation Abstract

Few know of the nationwide practice of land spreading toxic municipal and industrial contaminated wastes on slopes to flat lands, on forest and farm lands, and selling it for residential ornamental and vegetable garden uses. Promoted as "biosolids;" soil "amenities," without divulging their contents, they have degraded soils, water and health. The US population is approximately 314 million. Each person excretes about 90 lbs of excrement/year and 150 gal urine. About 17,000 publicly owned treatment works exist, producing 7.6 million dry tons of sludge annually. Human wastes empty into sewers along with hundreds of hazardous and persistent pollutants discharged from residential and industrial drains. Every entity connected to a sewer is permitted to discharge any amount of hazardous and acute hazardous waste into sewage treatment plants as long as they comply with an annual one-time notification requirement. There are no standard methods for the analysis of these compounds in environmental samples. Wastewater treatment plants separate effluent from solids, concentrating most pollutants in the solids. Treatment is for the effluents that are meant for release into open water bodies, under the CWA. However, treatment is minimal. Sewage contaminants can include solvents, PCBs, dioxins, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, fluoride, flame retardants, radioactive materials, nano particulates, and fracking wastes, as well as disease-causing pathogens, including prions. Treating wastewater actually produces antibiotic resistant super bugs. EPA's 2006 survey sampled typical sludges for 147 pollutants. Priority pollutants and emerging chemicals of concerns were found in every sample. Approximately 1000 new chemical compounds are added annually into the waste stream, which is increasingly becoming more complex. Land applied sewage solids are probably the most pollutant-rich waste created. Yet US regulations monitor and regulate only 9 metals in the sludges and, depending on their use, for a few pathogens. Pathogens deemed "dead" can multiply once in contact with soil. The sludge spread on land wind up back in ground and surface water bodies via stormwater runoff. There are alternatives to handling this waste to that of releasing toxic effluents into water bodies and allowing the land spread toxic sludges to seep into groundwater and run into surface water bodies.

Session Title

Session S-06C: Water Quality III

Conference Track

Water Quality

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2014 : Seattle, Wash.)

Document Type

Event

Start Date

1-5-2014 5:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 6:30 PM

Location

Room 6C

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 1st, 5:00 PM May 1st, 6:30 PM

The Most Nutrient Rich Waste Created and It Ends Up in Our Water Systems

Room 6C

Few know of the nationwide practice of land spreading toxic municipal and industrial contaminated wastes on slopes to flat lands, on forest and farm lands, and selling it for residential ornamental and vegetable garden uses. Promoted as "biosolids;" soil "amenities," without divulging their contents, they have degraded soils, water and health. The US population is approximately 314 million. Each person excretes about 90 lbs of excrement/year and 150 gal urine. About 17,000 publicly owned treatment works exist, producing 7.6 million dry tons of sludge annually. Human wastes empty into sewers along with hundreds of hazardous and persistent pollutants discharged from residential and industrial drains. Every entity connected to a sewer is permitted to discharge any amount of hazardous and acute hazardous waste into sewage treatment plants as long as they comply with an annual one-time notification requirement. There are no standard methods for the analysis of these compounds in environmental samples. Wastewater treatment plants separate effluent from solids, concentrating most pollutants in the solids. Treatment is for the effluents that are meant for release into open water bodies, under the CWA. However, treatment is minimal. Sewage contaminants can include solvents, PCBs, dioxins, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, fluoride, flame retardants, radioactive materials, nano particulates, and fracking wastes, as well as disease-causing pathogens, including prions. Treating wastewater actually produces antibiotic resistant super bugs. EPA's 2006 survey sampled typical sludges for 147 pollutants. Priority pollutants and emerging chemicals of concerns were found in every sample. Approximately 1000 new chemical compounds are added annually into the waste stream, which is increasingly becoming more complex. Land applied sewage solids are probably the most pollutant-rich waste created. Yet US regulations monitor and regulate only 9 metals in the sludges and, depending on their use, for a few pathogens. Pathogens deemed "dead" can multiply once in contact with soil. The sludge spread on land wind up back in ground and surface water bodies via stormwater runoff. There are alternatives to handling this waste to that of releasing toxic effluents into water bodies and allowing the land spread toxic sludges to seep into groundwater and run into surface water bodies.