LESSSONS LEARNED IN SEVEN SUCCESSFUL YEARS OF BIOSOLIDS LAND APPLICATION
Abstract:The Trinity River Authority (TRA) of Texas Central Regional Wastewater System (CRWS) is permitted for 162 MGD operation and serves a population of about 1 million. It provides wastewater treatment for 21 contracting customer entities (cities) in the Dallas, Fort Worth (DFW) area. Because the DFW area is the largest population concentration in the U.S. not located on a major waterway, exceptional WWTP operation is a key element in protecting the Trinity River. CRWS' activated sludge, tertiary treatment process typically produces effluent with 1mg/l CBOD and 1mg/l TSS for a 30 day average. CRWS was awarded the 1996 EPA Region 6, Environmental Excellence O&M award. In 2001, it was the National Second Place EPA O&M award winner for Large Advanced Plants. The CRWS biosolids program was a key element in each award application. Additionally, CRWS won the EPA Region 6 award for Environmental Excellence for Pretreatment Programs in 1999.
Prior to land application, CRWS deposited about 100 dry tons of lime- stabilized sludge, dewatered in recessed chamber filter presses, in its on-site monofill on a daily basis. Since the biosolids were already exceptional quality for pollutant metals, no process changes were necessary to progress to a land application program. CRWS wrote bid specifications for contract hauling and land application and awarded a 5-year contract in early 1996. CRWS started land applying 20 % (20 dry tons daily) of its biosolids for the first contract year. Before the end of that first contract year (1996), CRWS was land applying 100 % (nominally) of its daily biosolids production. CRWS land applied over 61,000 dry tons of biosolids during the 2001 Fiscal Year in a year-round program.
Commitment to doing things the right way on both sides of the partnership between CRWS and its Contract Land Applier is essential to a successful program. This is especially true when bulk land application is done 52 weeks per year. Some of our lessons learned and things that we think we do right include:
Truck/container requirements and weighing
Limited schedule for Contract hauling off-site
Prompt hauling and prompt professional application
Number of available commercial land application sites and acreage
Frequent generator land application visits
Participation in state regulatory stakeholder meetings
Sampling and laboratory analyses programs
When the initial 5-year bid contract expired, CRWS chose to obtain a new contract agreement through an innovative Competitive Contract Negotiation process. This process proved to be superior to the old specification and bid process. Flexibility, which opened the process to varying beneficial use options, and the ability to evaluate valueadded items presented by negotiating contractors were key advantages of the Competitive Contract Negotiating process. Building the CRWS beneficial use program from the ground up has provided a wealth of lessons learned that were invaluable in the Competitive Contract Negotiation evaluation process.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2003
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