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Facilitated-integrated data management systems are assuming a greater role in the biosolids management industry. The need for such systems is increasing as the volume of data managed increases and both biosolids generators and land application managers are subject to greater public scrutiny and fiscal constraint.

Traditionally, data from four management sectors has been compiled and integrated manually to monitor and report land application program operational activity and regulatory compliance. Those management sectors are 1) biosolids transportation, 2) laboratory analytical, 3) land application activity, and 4) nutrient management. Managing data in each of the sectors individually is not difficult as there are specific software tools available to assist managers in accomplishing the task.

However, when it comes to integrating the four-sector data, software systems have not been available, leaving managers to integrate those sectors manually. This task is especially complex when multiple biosolids sources and/or land application sites are involved. In particular, manual integration of these data sources becomes cumbersome and prone to error during the annual regulatory reporting process. A secondary but important concern is monitoring the nutrient application status of individual biosolids land-application sites, which is also a function of the four data-management sectors and a common regulatory violation.

In 2006, Parker Ag Services, LLC, in cooperation with Material Matters, Inc. and Midwest Laboratories, Omaha, NB, evaluated the potential for an integrated software system to handle data from all four management sectors. The result of this cooperation was the development of a ‘central’ data management system that collects, compiles, and manages data from an automated transportation-information management software system and Midwest Laboratories' external and web-accessible laboratory-data management system. The coordinating data management system is based upon an established biosolids data management system developed by Material Matters on a Microsoft Access relational database platform.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2007

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