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Anne Arundel County Receives National Environmental Award for Beneficial Use of Biosolids

Release Date: 11/9/2001
Contact Information: Roy Seneca 215-814-5567

Contact: Roy Seneca 215-814-5567

PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented Anne Arundel County, Md. with a national first place award for excellence in wastewater management.

The biosolids exemplary management award honors the county for how it manages the distribution of biosolids (commonly referred to as sludge) from the county’s six sewage treatment facilities. Biosolids, a byproduct of the sewage treatment process, is rich in nutrients. The program distributes about 33 tons of biosolids daily to farmland throughout the county to fertilize the soil.

“The Anne Arundel County program is an outstanding example of public-private partnership where the county, the environment, and the farmers all reap benefits. This award recognizes the outstanding job that the county does to help protect the environment through its biosolids distribution program,” said Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic Region.

Under the county’s program, a contractor removes water from th sludge, treats it with lime, and then applies it to farmland. About 50 percent of the biosolids are injected as a liquid to minimize odors, and the other 50 percent is applied directly on the soil in more remote areas. The treated areas are used to farm corn, soybean, grain, hay, pasture and turf crops as well as to reclaim sand and gravel mining areas.

Welsh, who made the presentation to county executive Janet S. Owens, said county officials are to be congratulated for their professionalism and determination in making the program successful and accepted by the community. The county received the wastewater management award in category for large operations that treat more than 5 million gallons of sewage per day.

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