In the summer of 2012 after wheat harvest, Wessuc injected liquid biosolids in the South East corner of a farm located in Brant County Ontario.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we were unable to apply the entire usable area. While it was disappointing to leave areas of the field without biosolids it provided the opportunity to collect crop response comparison data. Using Google Earth imagery and yield monitoring data of the biosolids injected vs. the farmer’s attempt to match the fertility levels of those biosolids commercially we were able to track the crop yield response.
The area where biosolids were applied showed a significantly positive yield response compared to the areas that received other amendments.
Economic Advantages- Highlights
The farmer ultimately experienced an increase in profits by using biosolids vs. commercially available amendments.
Find out more about Wessuc’s land application services.
In the province of Ontario how do we manage excess soil?
Over 25 million cubic metres of excess soil needs to be managed each year in Ontario. In 2014 the province issued a Best Management Practice to guide the industry in how to best manage excess soils in order to protect the environment and promote beneficial reuse, but it had little effect. In 2017 the province pushed this initiative farther by releasing a regulatory proposal for Excess Soil Management. The initial intent was to implement the regulatory framework by Jan 1, 2018. Thankfully the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has listened to many of the comments they received from their ERB posting and have committed to a number of changes for the implementation and focus of the regulation:
1) An ammended phased-in approach for the regulation was put forth, implementing reuse standards in 2020 and excess soil management plans and registry requirements in 2021;
2) A recognition that excess soil should be seen first and foremost as a resource rather than a waste;
3) And changes to what triggers an Excess Soil Management Plan (ESMP) being required.
For further details on excess soil management take a look at the following presentation by the Province of Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change from the Canadian Urban Institute Symposium in 2017.
Is there a “right choice” for dewatering of sludge?
Many manufacturers will be quick to highlight the features and benefits of their technology over a competitor’s. Whether it is % solids achievable, polymer dosage required, throughput available, automation, ease of maintenance, energy costs, odor capture or a plethora of other options. It is easy to focus in on one benefit or feature and lose the sight of the big picture.
The truth is there is no right choice for the dewatering of sludge. Instead there is a right process for determining what dewatering technology or technologies will work best for your needs and it starts not with the technology, but with the sludge itself.
Dewatering of Sludge Trends vs. Individual Sludge Assessment and Solutions
It is true that trends exist in the industry like those highlighted in the article How Do I Choose the Best Option for Sludge Dewatering? Those trends exist for a reason. Facilities with similar types of sludge and related needs will tend to required similar solutions.
The overview provided in the article isn’t wrong but starting with a trend to determine the sludge dewatering process required can yield poor results. Your dewatering solution may require more than just the selection of a dewatering technology but may also involve sludge pre-treatment or other changes to your sludge collection and management process.
The Ideal Process for Dewatering of Sludge
The best process for dewatering sludge involves a few steps:
- Assess sludge characteristics
- Establish dewatering goals and factors affecting the desired outcome
- Identify and select the best techniques and technologies available to achieve goals
- Implement dewatering of sludge technologies and techniques
- Evaluate success of the dewatering implementation against goals
Each individual sludge situation will have different characteristics and understanding these characteristics is the first step to determine which technology you should choose. Once the sludge characteristics are known and understood, the next step is to clearly define the desired goals and factors affecting the goals. Some may suggest the goals should be defined first, but it is impossible to define realistic goals without knowing what you have in the first place. Often the goals may be the same from one facility to another but the factors affecting them such as volumes, disposal cost, energy cost, or maintenance capabilities will vary significantly. Knowing the sludge characteristics and the desired outcome(s) will ensure the big picture remains in sight while different technology features and benefits are being evaluated. The final steps in the process are to implement and gauge the success. Rolling these learnings into the future dewatering of sludge process will be key to improved success down the road.
The Right Choice for Dewatering of Sludge is All About the Process
So, in order to make the best choice for dewatering of sludge, it is important to focus on the process first and allow the technology and equipment choices to be informed by the sludge assessment and defined goals.