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Monday, June 6, 2011

Biosolid Fertilizer? A good brand?

     It's not a brand, but biosolids can be used as fertilizer, whether its a safe and effective alternative is what I decide to explore in this blog. 

A funny fact about Biosolids
     So what are biosolids?  Biosolids are a solid organic byproduct of purification systems that treat wastewater from homes and industries.  They are created after wastewater processing and treatment leaves residuals, or solids, from communities' municipal and private wastewater treatment plants. Rich in nutrients, biosolids can be recycled beneficially and used as a natural fertilizer or soil amendment to enhance the land. The origin of the term biosolids stems from the biological processing of wastewater solids, thus the word biosolids. Although the term may turn off some people at first, its definitely worth a closer look. I might be quick to say but biosolids are extremely useful and beneficial.  

     Biosolids when conducted in compliance with strict provincial and federal regulations, the recycling of biosolids benefits communities with an excellent source of safe, organic nutrients. Biosolids can improve crop production, reduce soil erosion and protect water quality, provide topsoil for recreational uses, reclaim strip-mined lands, enrich forest lands and conserve landfill space.  The advantages continue with biosolids assisting the waste management industry as well. Humans are constantly accumulating waste in landfills, and now days there is less and less space available to deposit it all. Using biosolids as fertilizer would be a green alternative. The cost for biosolids are minimal compared to the cost of purchasing it. There are many nutrients found in biosolids such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Trace elements of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, sulfur and zinc are also found, these elements and nutrients are needed for plant growth.

Biosolids being transferred and moved to another location
 for use
     It all comes down to the question ‘Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?’ In this case, I would say they the advantages definitely do outweigh the disadvantages.  The disadvantages that come with biosolids are that their true contents are unknown, that they pose a safety/health risk, they possibly are transferable to crops, and their effects are irreversible.  However, humans have been using biosolids for decades and they been screened and monitored in every part of the process, from the time they are raw to when they become a finished product. People who oppose this method of fertilization feel that it is unsafe and unsanitary to use biosolids, however these are foreseeable cons.  Human waste has to meet strict quality levels and is analyzed to eliminate health and safety risks as well. 

     When it comes down to it, the pros are greater than the cons and until we know the dangers of biosolids, we should continue to use it. The concerns aren’t worth worrying about because of the strict process biosolids go through. The stakeholders would be us, the people, because we buy food that are from our own farms. We have been influenced greatly by the world around us into believing that there is no good that comes from our waste, but biosolids are a prime example proves anything is possible. 

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