Is biosolids a realistic alternative to our current agricultural practices? Let’s see...
What is a sewage biosolid? A sewage biosolid can be defined as term that is used by waste water industries to identify the by-product of domestic and commercial sewages and the waste water treatment. They are nutrient-rich materials which have resulted from treatment of municipal wastewater. This sewage biosolid contains nitrogen, phosphorous, and other organic matter. It also contains essential micro-nutrients which include: copper, iron, zinc, and molybdenum which are all important for the plant growth and the soil fertility.
What are sewage treatment plants? The sewage treatment plants job is to remove any toxins or industry effluent that is left from wastewater in efforts to protect the environment. If wastewater is cleared without treatment this could lead to extreme water pollution. Sewage treatment plants include the physical, chemical and biological process of removing contaminants. Its overall goal is to produce a secure, environmentally safe fluid waste stream as well as a solid waste that is suitable for reuse or disposal. Advance technology has now made it possible use sewage effluent for drinking water, but Singapore is the only one who has used this method.
So what are the pros to this? The pros to this method are:
· It is an excellent source of nutrients and overall very safe
· Biosolids to agricultural land benefit urban and rural communities
· It is a cost effective method for disposal
· Instead of filling up landfills it recycles and goes back into the earth
· Promotes farming
· It is a safe and free fertilizer
· It has become regulated under the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) law
^54% of Biosolids are recycled!
What are the cons of this method? The cons of this method are:
· It is a potential health hazard
· The effects of this are irreversible
· Contamination can become a result from the accumulation of industrial waste
· True composition is not known
· May be containing harmful chemicals
· Chemicals could be transferred to crops
· Decreases the value of property
· Overall odor
The potential stakeholders in this issue are farmers as biosolids are cheap and so far is known to be good agricultural fertilizer. The government is another potential stakeholder as this is a cheaper and more affordable method. This method can also create jobs for us.
After taking into consideration some of the pros and cons of biosolids I think that it is a great environmentally friendly product that is very effective. Although I do believe that it could possibly lead to some problems to us humans and to the crops as it does contain chemicals. Before we can jump to any conclusions though, about whether it is bad, I think this issue needs to be studied some more. But in my opinion I think that it is an effective solution and very beneficial.
Work Cited List:
1. "Water Treatment." Welcome to Waterloo Science | UW Faculty of Science. Web. 05 June 2011. <http://www.science.uwaterloo.ca/~cchieh/cact/applychem/watertreatment.html>.
2. "CWWA - FAQ - Biosolids." CWWA/ACEPU. Web. 05 June 2011. <http://www.cwwa.ca/faqbiosolids_e.asp>.
3. "A Perspective on Biosolids Management." Web. 05 June 2011. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2094821/>.
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