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A Modernized Biosolids Management Plan for New York City's Water Pollution Control Plants

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The New York City Department of Environmental Protection's (NYCDEP) original biosolids master plan was created nearly 20 years ago in response to the Ocean Dumping Ban of 1988. Charged with the management of 14 water pollution control plants, the NYCDEP endeavored to develop an updated biosolids management plan in order to guide future capital expenditures for construction and rehabilitation related to the solids handling processes for all facilities within their jurisdiction. The modernized plan incorporates traditional considerations of maximizing cost savings and process efficiency while also addressing issues brought to light by emerging sustainability concerns such as climate change, volatility in energy markets, and long term viability of biosolids handling alternatives.

This paper presents the approach that NYCDEP has taken in assessing the treatment, collection, transportation, and end use of biosolids and residuals generated by the city's water pollution control plants as well as additional contributions from the new 290 million gallon per day (mgd) Croton Filtration Plant for drinking water. The paper includes discussions on:

Current conditions and performance of existing facilities


Prioritization of potential repair and replacement projects to maximize sustainability of biosolids treatment and end use


Minimizing the energy utilized by the entire biosolids processing, transportation and end use system to reduce the NYCDEP's carbon footprint


Utilization of digester gas on-site and in partnership with other consumers


Reducing greenhouse gas emissions


Screening analysis of potential modifications and additions to help increase the reliability and flexibility of the City's biosolids facilities


Potential markets for different types of biosolids products


Public-private partnership opportunities for biosolids processing and beneficial use.
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Keywords: Beneficial Use; Biosolids Management Plan; Biosolids Master Planning; Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Prioritization

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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