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Municipal Sewage Sludge for Fertilizer  RSS feed

 
pollinator
Posts: 282
Location: North Carolina, USA Zone 7b
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I'm a big fan of Ronnie Cummings Organic Consumers Association donate and subscribe to their newsletter.   This just in - I want to throw up, then never buy  ANY industrial  food again.   It's been my goal for 10 years but I'm only 50% there.   Now I'm really motivated.

As if it couldn't get any worse, I didn't know about this municipal wastewater sludge practice.  Ugh.

Oops - I just realized I gave my email URL instead of the Organic Consumers Association website so I'm replacing it here.   I think you can be safe - it's a website I visit regularly.

https://www.organicconsumers.org/bytes/organic-bytes-610-could-be-ticket
 
pollinator
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Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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I haven't read the article (I'm very leery of clicking on links due to possible viruses) but I would totally avoid municipal sludge. Even the USDA won't approve it for organic ag. If the USDA says its contaminated, then it must be bad.

Just think what goes down the sewer......everything! As a child I watched my parents and neighbors dispose of medication, unwanted cleaning products, old paint, even stale gasoline down the drain!!!
 
Susan Pruitt
pollinator
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Yes we want to avoid sludge but the concern is how?   There's no way to know what fertilizer that growers around the country use, or even locally for that matter.    I'm glad to report that after my original post I researched my own city's wastewater sludge handling and found a fascinating description of the many steps and technologies it goes thru before it is incinerated and the ash is sent to the landfill.  I don't know if that's "best practice" but it sounds good so I'm glad I don't have to haunt the halls at city council meetings to fight for change.   But as for the fluoride and chloramines in our drinking water........that's another story for another forum
 
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We use all of the sludge from our own residential sewage treatment plant to fertilize our fruit trees and grape vines.



It's exactly the same as the stuff on the bottom of our fish ponds when I clean them out.







 
Su Ba
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Yes Greg, I'd use my own wth no objection. But not the municipal stuff.

I already collect urine for fertilizer use. Livestock manure goes into my compost and human manure into hole preparation for the next orchard tree. Once I run out of trees to add to the farm, I plan to build our own sewage treatment system.
 
Greg Mamishian
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Su Ba wrote:Yes Greg, I'd use my own wth no objection. But not the municipal stuff.

I already collect urine for fertilizer use. Livestock manure goes into my compost and human manure into hole preparation for the next orchard tree. Once I run out of trees to add to the farm, I plan to build our own sewage treatment system.



I totally understand, Su. We trust our own sewage sludge. My wife and I are both vegeterians so there's no meat pathogens in the sludge. We also don't take any pharmaceutical drugs so there's no chemical toxin issue there.

Another benefit to pumping our own sewage sludge is that for the rest of our lives, we never have to pay hundreds of dollars to have our tank professionally pumped. I have a little portable pump setup I call the "Sludge Puppy". I simply lower a footswitch controlled pump into the tank, pump out the sludge into buckets, and pour the buckets wherever we need fertilizer.

We transformed a literal waste product into a valuable commodity.
 
pollinator
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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Probably not all sewerage sludge is toxic. I would simply ask for the analysis, I'm pretty sure they are doing it because they want to get rid of the sludge. incineration of the sludge is not very enivro friendly either. It depends if the sludge constains industrial waste or not.
 
Willie Smits increased rainfall 25% in three years by planting trees. Tiny ad:
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