CITY FACES DEADLINE ON SLUDGE HIGHER STANDARDS POSE DILEMMA OVER DISPOSAL.
Byline: Kerry Cavanaugh Staff Writer
Unless it can prove by Jan. 1 that its sewage sludge is clean enough to be used as fertilizer in Kern County, Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. will have to pay thousands of dollars per day to ship the treated waste to Arizona or a certified landfill, officials say.
About 95 percent of the sludge generated by Los Angeles and neighboring cities is currently trucked to Kern County, where it is spread on farmland as fertilizer for cotton and cattle feed. But new regulations that take effect next year require the sludge be treated to a higher standard to remove all disease-causing organisms.
Earlier this year, the city's Bureau of Sanitation unveiled $20 million in improvements to the Hyperion Sewage Treatment Plant The Hyperion Wastewater Treatment plant is located in southwest Los Angeles, California next to Dockweiler State Beach on Santa Monica Bay. The largest such facility in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area, Hyperion is operated by the Los Angeles Department of Public Works, Bureau of in El Segundo El Segundo (ĕl sēgŭn`dō), industrial city (1990 pop. 15,223), Los Angeles co., S Calif., on Santa Monica Bay; inc. 1917. Its products include navigation and computer systems, aircraft parts, office machines, telephone apparatus, and intended to ``cook'' the waste to a high enough temperature to kill pathogens and meet Kern's new sludge standard. But high heat created an increase in some especially odoriferous gases, prompting more than 200 complaints and seven air quality violations since Oct. 1.
``It's an awful, sickening smell, like the stench of human poop Poop
A slang term often used to describe people with insider information.
Not the most illustrious name.
See also: Insider Information ,'' said Barbara Parchen, who owns Barb's Hair Care on Grand Avenue and has noticed the smell wafting up from the South Bay treatment plant. ``I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. how they can stop it, but they need to.''
Managers tried to solve the stink by lowering the temperature at the plant, and complaints have since fallen, said Ray Kearney, assistant director at Bureau of Sanitation.
But by cooking the waste at a lower temperature, the city now has to test the sewage sludge for three disease-causing organisms - salmonella, intestinal virus and an intestinal worm (Zool.) any species of helminth living in the intestinal canal of any animal. The species are numerous.
See also: Intestinal .
Kearney is confident the tests will come up clean, but it takes at least six weeks for some results to come back.
``We have to wait till Christmas,'' Kearney said, meaning the city will have less than a week to clear those results with Kern County.
Kern County Environmental Health Services health services Managed care The benefits covered under a health contract Director Steve McCalley said Los Angeles ``would need a darn good reason'' to ask Kern for an extension past Jan. 1. Otherwise, if the sewage sludge is not proven to meet Kern's standard, it can't touch Kern soil.
Los Angeles would instead have to ship its treated sewage to Arizona or bury it in landfills - at a 50 percent increase in cost to the city, which adds up to at least $7,800 per day, Kearney said.
Los Angeles and neighboring cities of Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Glendale and Burbank each year generate 289,000 tons of treated sewage sludge, also called biosolids biosolids
Sewage sludge, the residues remaining from the treatment of sewage. For use as a fertilizer in agricultural applications, biosolids must first be stabilized through processing, such as digestion or the addition of lime, to reduce concentrations of heavy metals and . Most of the thick, black muck is spread on a swath of Los Angeles-owned land and used as fertilizer for crops inedible to humans.
But concerns arose over groundwater contamination and the safety of using treated human waste as fertilizer in one of the biggest farming counties in the state. Those worries, coupled with community grumbling about Los Angeles sending its waste up north, prompted the Kern County Board of Supervisors The examples and perspective in this article or section may represent an unduly geographically limited view of the subject.
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The Board of Supervisors is the body governing counties in the U.S. to vote to ban Class B biosolids, which was the kind of treated sewage sludge produced by Los Angeles.
Kern required Los Angeles to treat its sewage sludge to Class A exceptional quality levels by Jan. 1, 2003. The new standard means the city has to cook the sewage to a high enough temperature to kill all pathogens.
The city of Los Angeles
Hyperion Sewage Treatment Plant