Friday, April 8, 2011

Biosolids EW, but wait..

Did you know that biosolids (human waste) from sewage treatment plants are treated and used as sustainable agriculture fertilizer in some parts of the world? Biosolids are a solid organic by-product of purification systems that treat wastewater from U.S. homes and industry. Biosolids have a range of uses. They primarily are used as natural fertilizer to improve the quality of land for agriculture and increased crop yields, but did you ever think that the food we consume are grown and developed by what comes out of us? Yes it’s true, so what do you think of this..

Let’s start with the pros. There are many advantages of biosolids. Biosolids recycling benefits are an excellent source of safe, organic nutrients. Biosolids can improve crop production, reduce soil erosion and protect water quality, provide topsoil for recreational uses, rescue strip-mined lands, enrich forest lands and conserve landfill space. Some people believe that biosolids pose a threat to human health and are not safe. Biosolids have been used for decades, if not centuries, with no demonstrated adverse affects to human health. The organic matter in biosolids improves soil, suitability for crop growth and water-holding capacity. Also, the application of biosolids reduces the need for commercial fertilizers. Recycling biosolids instead of disposing of them saves landfill space and can save communities money. Biosolids meeting strict quality criteria and applied at approved rates help improve crop growth and yield, according to studies done by the Pennsylvania State University and others. Nutrients found in biosolids, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and trace elements such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, sulfur and zinc, are necessary for crop production and growth.” 
Biosolids basically promotes farming, reduces emissions from transportation to landfills or it’s even a good free fertilizer. 

Biosolids: Yes? No? Maybe so?

Now the cons. Many people believe that there are potential health hazards to biosolids. There can be contamination following the build up of industrial waste and its true composition is unknown. It may contain hazardous chemicals and it’s possibly transferable to crops. Also the odour can cause problems for people who live where biosolids are used and many may not feel comfortable with the smell. Biosolids also contain nitrogen and phosphorus, which in excess can move into groundwater or surface water causing problems for animals.

With all the pros and cons I have mentioned, I believe that biosolids can cause problems for other people, but I personally love the fact that it is environmentally friendly. We, as the public are the potential stakeholders and we are influenced by the western view of human waste. By the pros I`ve mentioned, it is clear that biosolids not only benefits the environment but it helps crop production and growth. Right now, our environment is what I want to take care of and even though biosolids seem a little bit gross, I think it is beneficial in various ways.
Wow..never realized how many pros biosolids actually had..

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