Can you imagine living in a world where all of our raw sewage is dumped directly into rivers, lakes, or bays? What would that mean for your next fishing trip, your next family vacation to the ocean, or your next hot summer day spent splashing around in the local lake or creek?
Many of us don’t need to use much imagination to picture this scenario, because it wasn’t so very long ago that this careless sewage dumping happened in thousands of cities across America. According to the EPA, it was just thirty years ago that sewage made a one-way, non-stop trip to the water surrounding us.
My, how far we’ve come.
Today, thanks to vast improvements in wastewater treatment processes, American waterways are no longer the dumping grounds that they once were. Advanced wastewater treatment makes our waterways more hospitable to swimmers (both human and aquatic), and it also produces one very green side effect: biosolids.
As defined by the EPA, biosolids are “the nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from the treatment of sewage sludge.”
Sewage sludge isn’t very useful on its own, but once it is turned into biosolids, its potential is nothing short of extraordinary. Biosolids can be recycled and turned into super-powered fertilizer, which can be applied to land used for growing food. Today, roughly half of biosolids produced in the United States are being applied to land to beneficially improve soils. That’s a lot of recycled waste!
The EPA uses strict criteria and guidelines to ensure that biosolids are used safely. Thanks to these regulations and reliable, efficient biosolid processing systems like the Schwing Bioset process, raw sewage can be part of the ever-increasing green movement. Who knew poo could be as trendy as a canvas grocery bag?