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FPUD newsletter article questioned


Last updated 5/15/2008 at Noon

Fallbrook Public Utility District’s recent newsletter, ‘Pipeline,’ is confusing on the topic “Recycling sludge into high grade fertilizer.”

FPUD’s statement “Then by heating the sludge to very high temperatures – between 226 and 276 degrees – all harmful pathogens are killed. The end product is sterile granules that can be safely returned to the soil” indicates the dried sludge can only be used as fill dirt.

Questions: “high grade fertilizer” or “sterile granules”? (It cannot be both.) Is this investment payback of at least seven years a bad investment?

Most bags of “Super Soil” contain the written notice “No sewage sludge or biosolids.” Check it out.

In addition, (Union Tribune, 4/15/08) the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee will investigate government funded research in poor, black neighborhoods or whether sewage plants might combat lead poisoning in children.

Human and industrial waste from sewage plants was spread on the lawns on nine low-income families in Baltimore and a vacant lot next to an elementary school in East St. Louis.

“The study concluded that phosphate and iron in the sludge can increase the ability of the soil to trap more harmful metals including lead, cadmium and zinc causing the combination to pass safely through a child’s body if eaten.”

Other researchers disputed that finding. No evidence of any medical follow-up conducted.

FPUD’s article states, “FPUD is selling all the fertilizer produced to a lower grower.” Is that local grower Color Spot?

One thing is certain, I will never use dried sewage sludge for fertilizer, or land fill.

Archie McPhee


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