News Briefs: Beer to the Rescue! Brewing Company To Aid Treatment Plant

In this week's wastewater and water news, a Boulder brewing company helps with nitrate removal, the AWWA addresses cyanotoxins, and biosolids are under the lens in Virginia.
News Briefs: Beer to the Rescue! Brewing Company To Aid Treatment Plant

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A brewing company in Boulder, Colo., could partner with the local wastewater treatment plant as part of the city’s Nitrogen Upgrades Project. If discussions pan out, Avery Brewing Co. would supply thousands of gallons of weak wort to the treatment plant each week in an effort to reduce levels of nitrate nitrogen in the wastewater treatment process.

The brewing byproduct, which is essentially sugar water, would reduce the plant’s nitrogen compounds by an additional 20 to 30 percent.

“[Using weak wort] is the most sustainable and cost-effective solution that the city’s identified,” says Boulder spokesman Nick Grossman in a Daily Camera article.

After receiving a grant from the EPA and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to reduce nitrogen discharge levels, the city investigated several biodegradable compounds produced in Boulder, including tofu, whey and pharmaceutical cell media. The brewery’s weak wort proved the most effective mechanism.

In early 2014, the city tested the process with 12,000 gallons of the wort. After the successful test, brewery and city officials began discussing a partnership.

“We designed the equipment to divert the weak wort, but the city will be supplying the place to put it — either in a tanker on site and/or a holding tank,” says Avery Brewing Director of Operations Steve Breezley in the article. “We haven’t finalized when this would be in place, but both parties are interested in getting it going as quickly as possible.”

Source: Daily Camera

AWWA to Congress: Control Nutrients to Control Cyanotoxins

In a recent testimony before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, AWWA Council Chair Aurel Arndt stressed that nutrient management is the solution to keeping drinking water safe from cyanotoxins.

The subcommittee meetings are in response to Toledo’s August 2014 citywide water crisis, which occurred when the water treatment plant detected the microcystin in finished water. The do-not-drink advisory affected 400,000 people.

The subcommittee hearing focused on H.R. 212, the Drinking Water Protection Act, a bill introduced by Rep. Rob Latta (R-Ohio). The bill would require the EPA to develop a strategic plan for dealing with cyanotoxins within 90 days of the bill’s passage.

To read the full press release, click here.

Virginia Biosolids Legislation Advances

In Virginia, several bills targeted at biosolids and industrial sludge are making their way through the Virginia General Assembly. The bills would require further study and greater oversight of the land application of biosolids and industrial waste products.

The House of Delegates passed House Bill 1364, which will allow local governments to provide greater testing and monitoring of the land application of industrial residual waste and receive funds from the Department of Environmental Quality. Another bill, Joint Resolution 271, which will require the DEQ to study the long-term effects of biosolids and industrial sludge, is up for vote in the Senate. A third bill, introduced by Del. R. Lee Ware, calls for a study on the long-term effects of industrial-waste land application.

According to an article in the Tidewater Review, many local leaders have voiced concern over biosolids land application — most recently in an incident with Baltimore-based Synagro Technologies. Despite local protests, that land application was approved by the State Water Control Board. 

Source: Tidewater Review


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