THE QUEST FOR THE HOLY GRAIL OF BIOSOLIDS ACCEPTANCE
Biosolids – for the public, the word often conjures up images of medical waste, rancid fields, or unpleasant odors. Gaining public acceptance of biosolids requires wastewater industry professionals to go on a search for the “holy grail” of truth – the process of ensuring fact is separated from fiction, and public concerns are allayed with sensitivity and scientific soundness. The quest for the holy grail of public acceptance involves several steps, and this presentation will address each. Step one, “preparing for the journey,” requires industry professionals to do their homework about their audience and prepare a plan that places the issue in the context of larger wastewater management planning. Building relationships with stakeholders and laying the groundwork for biosolids acceptance before there is an actual plan on the table is also critical. The next step, “putting on the full armor,” requires managing the overall operation of the wastewater system to the highest standards possible so that the public feels comfortable with claims that biosolids management will also be handled to these standards by an agency that has established credibility in the community. Step three, “facing the dragons of doubt,” begins with defining the goals of the public education program, and defining the tools available to implement that program. Considering the types of concerns the community will have, and tailoring messages to adequately address those concerns makes the approach proactive rather than reactive. In the last step, “rescuing the virtues of truth,” agencies must roll out their public education program by targeting key opinion leaders with tailored messages, recognizing the emotional component of the issue and avoiding scientific defenses alone, and strategically following a plan of action to ensure a consistent and well-considered effort. Finally, agencies will be reminded that the true value in seeking the truth of the grail is gained through the process of the search – working in tandem with the public every step of the way to achieve the final goal of public acceptance will make the “quest” not only successful for the agency, but for the community it serves.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2004-01-01
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. A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation includes access to most papers presented at the annual WEF Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) and other conferences held since 2000. Subscription access begins 12 months after the event and is valid for 12 months from month of purchase. A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is included in Water Environment Federation (WEF) membership.
WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access. Access begins 12 months after the conference or event
- Subscribe to this Title
- Membership Information
- About WEF Proceedings
- WEFTEC Conference Information
- Learn about the many other WEF member benefits and join today
- Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites