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Wastewater treatment facilities (WTFs) are required by U. S. Environmental Protection Agency to report the information about their biosolids to relevant regulatory agencies. The major problems with the current reporting methods include (1) the handling of the biosolids reports are cumbersome, because the number of WTFs in each state is large and the information in each report is often extensive. The biosolids data, although collected by the regulatory agencies, often are not used to benefit the analysis and management of state or region wide biosolids program, because the data were often not processed; (2) at many regulatory agencies, the biosolids data are not linked to the geographical information where the biosolids are produced and/or land-applied. It is difficult to use the data to analyze and assess the environmental impact of biosolids land application. This paper reports the findings of our project to develop a web and Geographical Information System (GIS)-based biosolids information management system, which integrates on-line data collection, GIS, and biosolids information management. This web and GIS-based approach has two major advantages: (1) the collection and reporting of wastewater biosolids data are automated, because wastewater treatment facilities submit biosolids information electronically through World Wide Web to a centralized biosolids database in a regulatory agency; (2) the biosolids data are incorporated in a GIS environment for spatial display and analysis. In web-based data submission, both functional and non-functional requirements are considered. Functional requirements include universal access, credential verification, data input ability, analysis capability, and information display ability. Non-functional requirements include usability, reliability, performance, supportability, and implementation. Such an information management system can provide regulatory agencies and interested parties a spatial framework for assessing the risk and the impact on public health and the environment due to biosolids land application.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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