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When compared with events of 25 years ago, biosolids treatment, production and management practices today have become a premier manufacturing enterprise. The enterprise today is noticed and scrutinized by regulators for compliance with applicable laws, by environmental activist groups for adherence to both applicable laws and common-sense good management practices, and by ordinary citizens for keeping the cost of operations down. Outside the regulatory community, the remaining stakeholders have focused their interests on public health, environmental, and nuisance issues. More specifically, their focus is on metals and pathogen content of biosolids, and odors. Since industrial pretreatment programs have virtually eliminated any serious concern regarding metals, the big three of issues have now become the big two. As a result of the rapidly increasing popularity of the land application option, the big two have really occupied center stage, because of the ease with which they can be associated with the agricultural use of biosolids. This paper will offer some thoughts on the anaerobic digestion process, its current role in addressing the big two, its potential future role, and some suggestions for improvement through research.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2001

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