Sludge Watch ==> LA Sues Kern County over Dumping of Sewage Sludge on Farm Fields

maureen.reilly at sympatico.ca maureen.reilly at sympatico.ca
Sat Aug 19 12:06:42 EDT 2006


Sludgewatch Admin:

Hang on. This story says that LA needed a $16M overhaul to get sludge that 
was adequately trreated  to spread on farm fields in Kern County.

But a pathogen reactivation issue  has recently come to light in many 
sludges that are anaerobically digested and centrifuged for dewatering.

.........................................
Examination of Reactivation and Regrowth of Fecal Coliforms in Anaerobically 
Digested Sludge
WERF Report: Biosolids and Residuals (03-CTS-13T)

Author(s): MJ Higgins, S Murthy

In a recent study of anaerobically digested solids from seven wastewater 
treatment facilities, counts of fecal coliform bacteria increased after 
dewatering at four of the facilities tested. Immediately after 
centrifugation, fecal coliform counts increased from very low or 
nondetectable levels, often by as much as several orders of magnitude, at 
the four facilities where increases were observed. This study only looked at 
seven facilities and only facilities using anaerobic digestion and 
high-solids centrifugation for dewatering; numerous other stabilization and 
dewatering processes are also widely used.

The study identifies some potential control methods and mitigation 
strategies that utilities could use to reduce coliform levels and provides 
information on the following:

· Procedures and test methods that can be applied to assure measures for 
pathogen reduction are being achieved.

· Potential mitigation options (e.g., changes to digester hydraulics, 
dewatering chemical additions, or longer-term storage) that might be 
considered by a facility to achieve desired reductions in both pathogenic 
and indicator organisms.


The title belongs to WERF Report Series

Publication Date: October 2006 · Pages: 72 · ISBN: 1843397366 · Paperback · 
Publication Type: WERF Report


www.werf.org/pdf/ReactivationFactSheet.pdf#search=%22pathogen%20reactivation%20werf%22

................................

This might well mean that what with pathogen reactivation and regrowth after 
dewatering - this sludge might still contain hundreds of millions of fecal 
coliform per gram- which could be inadequate disinfection to meet land 
application requirements.  Land applying sludges with extremely high 
pathogen levels could certainly pose public health risks.

This pathogen reactivation / resuscitation issue is another good reason why 
Kern is right to stop land application.

....................................................................................


LA sues Kern County over dumping of sewage sludge on farm fields
-
Wednesday, August 16, 2006


(08-16) 04:35 PDT Los Angeles (AP) --


Los Angeles is challenging a recently passed law in Kern County that will 
halt the city from dumping virtually all of its treated human waste on farm 
fields near Bakersfield.


The city filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday calling the ban on sewage sludge 
"arbitrary and irrational." The lawsuit also contends that it is forcing the 
city to seek alternative ways to dispose the sludge "at a cost of millions 
of dollars and great environmental harm."


Other plaintiffs named in the lawsuit include two Southern California 
sanitation districts, farmers who spread the biosolids on their land to grow 
crops for livestock, and businesses that transport the sludge.


The ban was overwhelmingly approved in June by Kern County voters who were 
convinced the unsavory mixture fouls the air and endangers the quality of 
groundwater. The ban takes effect at the end of the year.


Anticipating the ballot measure would pass, Los Angeles officials earlier 
this year said they had lined up farms in Arizona willing to accept the 
city's sludge.


The lawsuit claims the environment in Kern County will be all the poorer 
without the fertilizer that is spread on the 4,200-acre Green Acres Farm 
owned by the city of Los Angeles. The city was required to perform a $16 
million upgrade of its wastewater processing equipment in order to spread 
its sludge at Green Acres, but the ban makes that expense pointless, the 
lawsuit said.


A Democratic lawmaker who supported the ban suggested the lawsuit exposes 
the hypocrisy among Los Angeles city leaders, including Mayor Antonio 
Villaraigosa, who tout the city's conservation efforts.


"He has a huge amount of credibility on the line with us," said state Sen. 
Dean Florez, D-Shafter. "In his State of the City address, he said that Los 
Angeles would be the greenest, cleanest city in America. Is he going to do 
that at the expense of Kern County?"


Florez said he hopes to meet with Villaraigosa next week to persuade him 
that the city has other alternatives. Florez pointed out that a facility to 
open in Rialto, east of Los Angeles, in 2008 would convert sewage sludge 
into a fuel that can be used by power plants.


Southern California sewage districts trucked about 470,000 tons of sewage 
sludge to Kern County last year.


URL: 
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/n/a/2006/08/16/state/n043535D35.DTL




//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

LA County files sludge lawsuit against Kern

Video

Posted 8/15/06
BAKERSFIELD - June’s overwhelming vote in favor of Measure E that outlaws 
the spreading of sludge in Kern County is being challenged by the City of 
Los Angeles.
Although, 85 percent of Kern County voters endorsed Measure E that outlaws 
the spreading of sewage sludge on Kern County’s farmland, the City of Los 
Angeles has filed a massive lawsuit against Kern County.

The City of Los Angeles has hired two law firms with successful track 
records in overturning similar sludge bans in other parts of the country.

For 12 years, the City of Los Angeles has been trucking nearly all of its 
treated sewage sludge to farmland it owns, just south of Bakersfield.Measure 
"E" gives Los Angeles until the end of the year to find a new home for its 
bio-solids.

Sen. Dean Florez (D-Shafter) is the author of the lawsuit and was surprised 
by the lawsuit.

The President of Los Angeles’s Board of Public Works said Tuesday they had 
no choice, but to file suit after Kern County voters chose to ban a 
federally-approved and state-encouraged practice for recycling bio solids.

Rita Robinson, Director of Los Angeles’s Bureau of Sanitation said, “Bio 
solids have only improved the environment in Kern County and there is no 
basis for the ban.” And, she points to the double standard that exists where 
many cities in the county still land apply Class-B bio-solids and yet 
Measure E' doesn't apply to them.






LA County files sludge lawsuit against Kern

Video

Posted 8/15/06
BAKERSFIELD - June’s overwhelming vote in favor of Measure E that outlaws 
the spreading of sludge in Kern County is being challenged by the City of 
Los Angeles.
Although, 85 percent of Kern County voters endorsed Measure E that outlaws 
the spreading of sewage sludge on Kern County’s farmland, the City of Los 
Angeles has filed a massive lawsuit against Kern County.

The City of Los Angeles has hired two law firms with successful track 
records in overturning similar sludge bans in other parts of the country.

For 12 years, the City of Los Angeles has been trucking nearly all of its 
treated sewage sludge to farmland it owns, just south of Bakersfield.Measure 
"E" gives Los Angeles until the end of the year to find a new home for its 
bio-solids.

Sen. Dean Florez (D-Shafter) is the author of the lawsuit and was surprised 
by the lawsuit.

The President of Los Angeles’s Board of Public Works said Tuesday they had 
no choice, but to file suit after Kern County voters chose to ban a 
federally-approved and state-encouraged practice for recycling bio solids.

Rita Robinson, Director of Los Angeles’s Bureau of Sanitation said, “Bio 
solids have only improved the environment in Kern County and there is no 
basis for the ban.” And, she points to the double standard that exists where 
many cities in the county still land apply Class-B bio-solids and yet 
Measure E' doesn't apply to them.






LA County files sludge lawsuit against Kern

Video

Posted 8/15/06
BAKERSFIELD - June’s overwhelming vote in favor of Measure E that outlaws 
the spreading of sludge in Kern County is being challenged by the City of 
Los Angeles.
Although, 85 percent of Kern County voters endorsed Measure E that outlaws 
the spreading of sewage sludge on Kern County’s farmland, the City of Los 
Angeles has filed a massive lawsuit against Kern County.

The City of Los Angeles has hired two law firms with successful track 
records in overturning similar sludge bans in other parts of the country.

For 12 years, the City of Los Angeles has been trucking nearly all of its 
treated sewage sludge to farmland it owns, just south of Bakersfield.Measure 
"E" gives Los Angeles until the end of the year to find a new home for its 
bio-solids.

Sen. Dean Florez (D-Shafter) is the author of the lawsuit and was surprised 
by the lawsuit.

The President of Los Angeles’s Board of Public Works said Tuesday they had 
no choice, but to file suit after Kern County voters chose to ban a 
federally-approved and state-encouraged practice for recycling bio solids.

Rita Robinson, Director of Los Angeles’s Bureau of Sanitation said, “Bio 
solids have only improved the environment in Kern County and there is no 
basis for the ban.” And, she points to the double standard that exists where 
many cities in the county still land apply Class-B bio-solids and yet 
Measure E' doesn't apply to them.





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