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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  1. Hey Anker,
    Your blog is amazing and was very enjoyable to read. It was also very informative and I have to agree with you. I think that biosolids are the way to go. At first, I had the same reaction as it being so gross, but learning that it goes through a process to be treated and purified, I was relieved. I also find biosolids very helpful to the environment as they are harmless to the environment and barely harmless to our health. I know like always there are health risks, but for now, I strongly agree that biosolids are great fertilizers.

  2. I thought it was a really good blog, you really went into detail about what kind of nutrients biosolids hold and what they can do for plants and the environment, i also thought that the quote at the end really nailed your points. Just one thing, about phosphorus and nitrogen contaminating ground water, yeah it's possible but there are strict regulations on where you can spread biosolids and how to spread it safely. Anyways besides that it was a really good blog and I liked it.

  3. Anker! Great blog. Great job explaining the pros and cons of biosolids. I agree with you that it is a really good environmentally-friendly alternative and it is way more affordable. This is a great way to recycle, although it is kind of odd. It is really weird to think that the food that we eat could be grown in this method. Your blog is very detailed and you go through many essential topics that biosolids are used for. Great job again Anker !

  4. Hey Anker!
    You approached this topic with the same perspective as I did, that Biosolids, as odd as it may seem, are an environmentally-friendly alternative of growing the food we eat. I liked how you weighed the pros and cons and realized that biosolids have more advantages than disadvantage, I agree with you! Great Blog!

  5. Hey, Anker!
    Your thoughts and reflections on the topic seem to reflect yours. I definitely agree with finding an environmentally-friendly alternative to everything, even growing our food! Even though this might seem very strange at first, if it does our Earth good, I'm for it.

  6. Hey Anker,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog! I absolutely agree with you in the fact that even though biosolids is considered disgusting, it is still seen as a great contribution to our earths soils which is a positive on keeping our environment alive and healthy. Great job!