Dewatered Sludge Disposal

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Dewatered Sludge Disposal

Sludge is what is left over after sewage has been treated at any wastewater treatment plant. Sewage sludge is any solid, semisolid or slurry residue material left as a by-product of wastewater treatment processes. Wastewater undergoes various complex processes at a treatment plant so that it can safely go back into the environment. While treatment plants do a good job of cleaning and recycling the water, the sewage sludge, or biosolids, still need to be
processed.
There are many different kinds of disposal and treatment methods available in wastewater treatment plants. Technology has helped us develop sustainable methods of disposal, but there are still opportunities to improve and maximize biosolids value-added as a product. Keep reading to learn more about the most commonly used methods to dispose of sewage sludge today.

Dewatering Edmonton

Landfill

Disposing of sludge in a landfill is safe and reliable, however, it does fall a bit short in that it disregards the nutrients and organic matter that the sludge has. Much of these nutrients are non-renewable and require resources to produce more. If we can find a way to place these nutrients back into the environment, it would be a great sustainable alternative and would also help avoid taking up room in a landfill.
Hauling wet sludge to the landfill is also costly and uses a lot of energy.

Incineration

Wastewater treatment sludge can be incinerated as a method of disposal using an incinerator. This is a particularly valuable approach when there is limited available land. While the sludge is converted to ash that has nutrients, the metal content in it does limit its marketability. In addition, air quality and permits also make this method less common.

Composting

Composting is an affordable method for processing wastewater sludge. However, it does require a lot of land and at least six weeks for processing. One of the biggest disadvantages is that the resulting product cannot be resold for much, about $10 to $20 per tonne. But it does produce a wonderful soil additive that is rich in nutrients and organic matter.

Drying and Granulation

For many wastewater treatment plants, the preferred solution for dealing with sludge processing is in using it to produce high-value fertilizer granules. A granulation facility can produce high- quality fertilizer granule from the sludge.
Many older wastewater treatment plants need upgrading when it comes to processing wastewater sludge. However, this may not always be feasible because of limited space. As a result, there are certain solutions that have been developed that improve treatment without needing more land area. These include the bioreactor process, the ballasted floc reactor, and the integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS) process.
For more information about dewatering in Alberta, British Columbia, or Saskatchewan, contact
Edmonton-based Taber Solids Control today.