Tuesday, March 9, 2010

what to do with sludge?

I enjoyed this resource regarding sludge alternatives from Sludge News:
Prevention -- the cost effective solution -- is the place to start: prevent hazardous waste from entering the sewer in the first place, prevent the exploitation of the myth that wastewater treatment and its associated technologies can fix any problem, and prevent the poisoning of our food supply with sewage sludge.

...Next, initiate a moratorium on the land application of sludge -- because there is no scientific evidence that this practice is safe.

...implement policies that discourage the use of water to carry wastes.

...What to do with the tons of sludge leaving wastewater plants each day?

Don’t put it on food chain crops, ball fields, parks, gardens, or yards. Instead, treat it as the hazardous waste it is. Keep it away from the public - isolate it from life. Put sewage sludge - whether “treated” or not - into lined sanitary landfills with proper leachate collection systems. If it fails the TCLIP test, it should go to a RCRA Subtitle C landfill for hazardous waste. Otherise it should go to a Subtitle D landfill.

Landfills are the only safe interim option we have until we can find other solutions, solutions that do not put sludge into the air (incineration), on our food (land application), or in our water (disposal at the outfall pipe).

1 comment:

hshields said...

The US EPA and waste industry are promoting the landspreading of Class B sewage sludge containing infectious human and animal prions on grazing lands, hay fields, and dairy pastures. This puts livestock and wildlife at risk of infection. They ingest large quantities of dirt and top dressed sludge with their fodder.

Prion infected Class A sludge "biosolids" compost is spread in parks, playgrounds, home lawns, flower and vegetable gardens - putting humans, family pets, and children with their undeveloped immune systems and hand-to-mouth "eat dirt" behavior at risk. University of Wisconsin prion researchers, working with $100,000 EPA grant and a $5 million Dept. of Defense grant, have found that prions become 680 times more infectious in certain types of soil. Prions can survive for over 3 years in soils. And human prions are 100,000 times more difficult to inactivate than animal prions

Recently, researchers at UC Santa Cruz, and elsewhere, announced that Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a prion disease. "Prion" = proteinaceous infectious particle which causes always fatal TSEs (Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies) in humans and animals including BSE (Mad Cow Disease), scrapie in sheep and goats, and Chronic Wasting Disease in deer, elk and moose. Human prion diseases are AD and CJD (Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease,) and other rarer maladies. Infectious prions have been found in human and animal muscle tissue including heart, saliva, blood, urine, feces and many other organs.

Alzheimer's rates are soaring as Babyboomers age - there are now over 5.3 million AD victims in US shedding infectious prions in their blood, urine and feces, into public sewers. This Alzheimer's epidemic has almost 500,000 new victims each year. No sewage treatment process inactivates prions - they are practically indestructible. The wastewater treatment process reconcentrates the infectious prions in the sewage sludge.

Quotes from Dr. Joel Pedersen, Univ. of Wisconsin, on his prion research:

Our results suggest that if prions were to enter municipal waste water treatment systems, most of the agent would partition to activated sludge solids, survive mesophilic anaerobic digestion, and be present in
treated biosolids. Land application of biosolids containing prions could represent a route for their unintentional introduction into the environment. Our results argue for excluding inputs of prions to municipal wastewater treatment."

"Prions could end up in wastewater treatment plants via slaughterhouse drains, hunted game cleaned in a sink, or humans with vCJD shedding prions in their urine or faeces, Pedersen says"
(Note - This UW research was conducted BEFORE UCSC scientists determined that Alzheimer's Disease is another prion disease which may be shedding infectious prions into public sewers and Class B and Class A sludge "biosolids.)

Helane Shields, Alton, NH 03809

Infectious prions in sludge "biosolids" http://www.sludgevictims.com/pdf_files/PRIONSINSEWAGEANDSLUDGE_PEDERSEN_ETAL.pdf