Skip to main content

Regional In-Vessel Composting Facility Relies on Continued Privatization for Improvements

Buy Article:

$17.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Or sign up for a free trial


In 1986, the Cities of Hickory, Newton, and Conover, together with Catawba County, formed the Hickory Regional Sludge Consortium (HRSC) to develop a regional approach to manage wastewater residuals and septage in North Carolina. The in-vessel composting approach was selected and the Regional Sludge Composting Facility (RSCF) was subsequently constructed, largely funded by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). The RSCF began operating in 1990 to process wastewater residuals and septage produced by the members of the HRSC but was soon shut down due to odor complaints. The RSCF reopened in January 1995 with an upgraded odor control system and has since been operating continuously under contract by Professional Services Group (PSG). PSG manages the receiving, dewatering, composting, curing, and distribution of the finished compost, as well as monitoring and regulatory compliance testing.

The RSCF consists of a liquid residuals receiving station, amendment receiving and storage, residuals dewatering by belt filter presses, active composting in four in-vessel tunnel reactors, and an outdoor curing and storage area. A unique feature of the RSCF is that liquid residuals are blended with amendment prior to dewatering. From 1995 to 1997, the RSCF processed an average of 12 DT/d of residuals. A continual deterioration in dewatering performance was observed, primarily due to changes in sludge characteristics. The impacts of lower cake solids content are higher requirements of amendment and longer retention time required for composting and curing. Furthermore, the contract operator has identified limitations in curing capacity. More than half of the compost was not cured and was disposed off site. Compost properly cured was successfully marketed.

This paper illustrates the importance of a system approach to designing and operating a residuals composting facility. The proper selection and sizing of dewatering and composting technology as well as provision of adequate odor control through all stages of the process are critical for the success of any residuals composting facility.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access.
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more