The Western Bay way - beneficial biosolids use

Abstract

Western Bay of Plenty District Council (WBOPDC) has taken up the challenge of producing stabilised biosolids from its diverse range of wastewater sludges so they can all be safely and beneficially applied to land. It is anticipated that other Local Authorities with similar situations could benefit from the WBOPDC experience. Te Puke WWTP biosolids reuse is contracted out for vermicomposting in Kawerau. The Council is however investigating vermicomposting of biosolids in the future at a centralized facility servicing the whole District. Details of these ventures are provided.

The main issues with land application of biosolids are contaminants such as heavy metals, obtaining adequate land, costs especially transport, and resource consenting. WBOPDC and CPG undertook a study which examined these issues with respect to possible solutions for biosolids produced from the Katikati and Waihi Beach WWTPs.

This paper summarises the analysis and presents the selected option, application to Council owned pastoral land. Management of the biosolids application rate and method has been designed to ensure that potential risks to human, animal and environmental health are mitigated. Public perception and the effect of Fonterra’s policy with respect to acceptance of biosolids on dairy farm land are also examined.

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