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The main aims of this research were to:. The metals in the biosolids from the WWTPs examined were below the maximum allowable concentrations of metals for use in agriculture in the EU Healy et al. Some priority metals such as antimony and tin, which are potentially harmful to human health, were identified in some of the samples analysed. As these parameters are not currently regulated, this means that a number of toxic metals, which may be several times higher than their baseline concentrations in soils, may be applied to land without regulation. Working with colleagues in the Marine and Freshwater Research Centre in the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, synthetic polymers measuring less than 5 mm in diameter, called Microplastics, were also found in the treated sewage sludge Mahon et al.

As these have the potential to adsorb persistent organic contaminants and priority metals, significant risks to the environment may arise following their application to land. The possibility exists that these potentially harmful, unregulated contaminants, for which no international standards currently exist for recycling in agriculture, may accumulate in the soil upon repeated application. Fig 1: Field scale plots used in this study prior to application of biosolids and dairy cattle slurry.

From toilet to brickyard: Recycling biosolids to make sustainable bricks

To address the second aim of the project, a field-scale study examined the impact of land application of biosolids on surface runoff of contaminants Peyton et al. Three different types of biosolids, all originating from the same WWTP but subject to different types of treatments anaerobic digestion, lime stabilisation and thermal drying , were applied to small field plots at the maximum permissible rate allowed in Ireland Figure 1.

To give context to the results, dairy cattle slurry was also applied to separate plots at the same rate. All plots were then subject to numerous simulated rainfall events. This study found that nutrient concentration in runoff following land application of dairy cattle slurry was far greater than the concentrations arising from the application of biosolids. Furthermore, the metals and microbial matter present in the runoff from the biosolids-amended plots were, in general, of the same order as the dairy cattle slurry plots.

Therefore, in these respects, biosolids did not pose a greater risk than dairy cattle slurry.

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Furthermore, there was no significant difference in metal bioaccumulation of the ryegrass between plots that received biosolids and those that did not, over the study duration Healy et al. Various exposure assessment models were developed, which considered exposure to metals and E. In general, the results indicated that the risk of illness was negligible for healthy individuals Clarke et al.

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  • Sewage sludge production and agricultural land.
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  • The overall conclusion from this study is that although, in general, land applied biosolids pose no greater threat to water quality than dairy cattle slurry and cattle exclusion times from biosolids-amended fields may be overly strict within the context of current exclusion criteria , a matter of concern is that unlegislated metals, PPCPs and microplastics, found to be present in biosolids originating from a selection of WWTPs examined in this study, may be inadvertently applied to land. With multiple applications over several years, these may build up in the soil and may enter the food chain, raising concerns over the continued application of biosolids to land in Ireland.

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    Sludge Stabilization Systems

    Zitomer, T. Miller, C. Weirich, P. Emerging investigators series: pyrolysis removes common microconstituents triclocarban, triclosan, and nonylphenol from biosolids. Removal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products by Eichhornia crassipe and Pistia stratiotes. Journal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers , 58 , Risk assessment of persistent pharmaceuticals in biosolids: Dealing with uncertainty. Journal of Hazardous Materials , , Verlicchi, E.

    Pharmaceuticals and personal care products in untreated and treated sewage sludge: Occurrence and environmental risk in the case of application on soil — A critical review.

    Fecal Sludge Management (FSM) in Delhi - a case study

    Xiaoqin Wu, Laurel K. Dodgen, Jeremy L. Conkle, Jay Gan. Plant uptake of pharmaceutical and personal care products from recycled water and biosolids: a review. Influence of organic amendment on fate of acetaminophen and sulfamethoxazole in soil. Anupama Ranganathan, Shirley J. Gee, Bruce D. An immunoassay for the detection of triclosan-O-glucuronide, a primary human urinary metabolite of triclosan.

    Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry , , Caitlin P. Youngquist, Jessica R. Goldberger, John Doyle, Stephen S. Public involvement in waste management research and decision-making: A case study. Jone Corrales, Lauren A. Kristofco, W. Baylor Steele, Brian S. Yates, Christopher S. Breed, E. Spencer Williams, Bryan W. Global Assessment of Bisphenol A in the Environment.

    Dose-Response , 13 3 , Kambiz Khosravi, Gordon W. Determination of phthalates in soils and biosolids using accelerated solvent extraction coupled with SPE cleanup and GC—MS quantification.

    Wastewater Treatment and Collection Systems | WSP

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    Ulrich, Dotti F. Ramey, Kathryn S. Spencer, Skuyler P. Herzog, Tzahi Y. Cath, Jennifer R. Stokes, Christopher P. Life cycle energy and greenhouse gas assessment of the co-production of biosolids and biochar for land application. Journal of Cleaner Production , 91 , Murgolo, F.

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