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Small Communities Partner to Dry up their Biosolid Regulatory Issue

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This paper provides an evaluation of the need and advantages of regionalization in a biosolids dryer system that will operate with renewable energy sources and attain a beneficial use Class A (referred to as Class AA in Florida) biosolid product to solve a looming regulatory issue. This dryer system affords a unique and cost-effective solution for a region that has eight cities and a county and solves the pending regulatory issue for all of these entities. This study will discuss the measures that these nine entities, operating 16 wastewater treatment plants, have applied to go forward in this regional system. The study will discuss how these entities are partnering together with a private company to share the energy source to run the regional dryer. The regional drying system will be operated based on the innovative use of landfill methane gas or turbine generator waste heat from a private company as the energy source. In addition, the study will provide the capital cost estimate and the results of the present worth analysis for these nine entities in the regional system versus the current wastewater biosolids management practice of each community providing their own separate solution for this regulatory issue. This paper is prepared with local government utilities in mind that are currently attempting to work through the cost dilemma of solving a regulatory issue and using an informal partnering process to unify in a regional system versus attempting to provide a solution as a single entity.

This study indicates that the small community biosolid utility managers should strongly consider partnering in the biosolids treatment and disposition practices through the regional facility. In this study the regional drying facility, treating to Class A levels, is a good long term and cost-effective solution. The biosolid regulatory issue at federal, state, and county levels is a trend of necessitating the higher level of treatment. For this regional facility, the costs for the Class A biosolid product is comparable to the majority of the contributors current Class B practices. The marketability of the Class A biosolid product opens many doors for the regional facility, including use by the general public. In conclusion, the regional drying facility solution produces a marketable beneficial use Class A product, solves the uncertainty of the current regulatory issue for biosolids, and using renewable energy results in a more cost-effective option than each entity attempting to provide their own biosolid management practice solution.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

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  • 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.

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