Photo credit: Thomas Nutrient Solutions
Dr. Ian Pepper, the newly appointed Deputy Director at UA WEST Center, traveled to Manchester England in November 2019 to attend and present at the 24th European Biosolids and Organic Resources Conference.
Biosolids are an important byproduct of wastewater treatment, representing “the nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from the treatment of domestic sewage in a wastewater treatment facility (i.e., treated sewage sludge). When treated and processed, these residuals can be recycled and applied as fertilizer to improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth.” (EPA, Biosolids FAQ)
Acting as UA Faculty and WEST Deputy Director, Dr. Pepper shared his expertise as a speaker and panelist during the November 19-20 event:
- Dr. Pepper presented on Landbank Security Issues in the United States. His presentation focused on critiquing a report recently issued by the EPA Office of Inspector General (OIG) which criticized the EPA Biosolids Program. Specifically, the report implied that land application was unsafe until full risk assessments were conducted on 352 constituents. Dr Pepper’s presentation summarized a national rebuttal to this EPA Report. Follow this link to read the EPA Report. The Rebuttal to the report will be published later this year.
- A panel discussion on “Sludge 2020: Is this market ready?” was also a part of the conference program. Dr. Pepper was one of four panelists discussing next year’s deregulation of the UK sludge market. The concept behind this proposal is to designate sludge as a resource, for example by: a) encouraging increased trading of sludge between utilities; b) supplying sludge as a feedstock for third party anaerobic digestion; and iii) importing biowastes such as fats, oil and grease (FOG) for digestion.
Overall is the market ready? The jury is out!
European Biosolids and Organic Resources Conference
To learn more about the 24th European Biosolids and Organic Resources Conference, click here or read the event programme below.