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In response to the ever-growing increase ban on land application of biosolids within the State of California, the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) joined forces with the Los Angeles County Sanitation District (LACSD) to form a Joint Power Authority (JPA) in order to develop a composting facility within the IEUA service area. The JPA is the Inland Empire Regional Composting Authority (IERCA). Prior to the formation of IERCA, IEUA developed an Organics Management Policy in its service area consistent with its mission to protect public health, the groundwater basin and the environment. The objective of the Organics Management Policy is to develop and build a facility in a heavy urban area within one of the most stringent air and water quality basis in the United States. In pursuing this policy, the IEUA called upon LACSD to become an active partner in achieving diversion of organic solids from land application and landfill disposal and to be consumers of recycled organic products generated within the community. The primary goal being the development of biosolids product that will be a sustainable method for biosolids management.

The JPA hired Tetra Tech, Inc. as their program manager to manage the planning, design and implementation of the project. Key consultants to Tetra Tech included CH2M Hill and Matlock Architects. The planning effort included site selection with traffic and permitting considerations; methods for materials handling, approximately 150,000 wet tons per year (wtpy) of biosolids, amendment import 60,000 wtpy, and product loadout of about 100,000 wtpy; methods for fresh and foul air handling and scrubbing; and estimates of permits required and costs for construction, operation and maintenance.

The site selected was an IKEA warehouse in the City of Rancho Cucamonga, California. The structure needed major upgrades and modifications to facilitate composting. The major challenges included designing the ventilation system for over 800,000 cubic feet per minute which is conveyed to biofilter, covering about three (3) acres. Other challenges were in the details: air modeling to avoid short circuitry, hauling, mixing and conveying the solids, marketing the product, obtaining permits and funding. Currently, the project is bid, low bid of about 56,000,000, and start of construction is eminent.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2004-01-01

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