Tag Archives: sludge

#TDIWH—February 17, 1916: Fertilizer from Activated Sludge and Flood in San Diego

Many decades later, the use of biosolids for fertilizer is catching on

Many decades later, the use of biosolids for fertilizer is catching on

February 17, 1916: Municipal Journal article. Fertilizer from Activated Sludge.   “Milwaukee, Wis.-The sewerage commission that is directing the construction of Milwaukee’s modern system of sewage disposal with a big plant on Jones island, operated by the new activated sludge method, is about ready to experiment with the sludge deposits left after streams of sewage have been purified. Chief engineer Hatton believes that this sludge can be manufactured into a commercial fertilizer which will command a market value ranging from $10 to $20 per ton. If the experiments are successful the sludge will be the source of considerable revenue which will decrease the operating expenses of the system which with its large intercepting sewers draining the whole city, will cost $10,000,000 or more. A special building will be erected for the treatment of the refuse to be worked into fertilizer form. Nine of the large concrete tanks recently built for the treatment of continuous flows of sewage are in operation and the other two will soon be ready.”

Flooding by DamFebruary 17, 1916: Municipal Journal article. Repair Flood-Damaged Water System. “San Diego, Cal.-The San Diego water system was hard hit by the storm which caused the flooding of the Otay valley. According to belief of the water department officials the conduit system is almost ruined. In places miles of trestle have been carried down the mountains. In other places the concrete flume was washed out by the hundred yards. To carry water from Morena dam to Upper Otay, as proposed, will entail expensive work and six months or more time, according to the belief of manager of operation Lockwood, who waited an official report from supervisor Wueste and engineer Cromwell. Morena dam stood the storm.”

Reference: Municipal Journal. 1916. 40:7(February 17,1916): 244.

December 17, 1914: Small Sewage Treatment Plant

1217 Imhoff TankDecember 17, 1914: Municipal Journal article—Small Sewage Treatment Plant. “The Home for the Indigent of Delaware County, Pa., is located in Middletown Township, near the village of Lima, and on the main highway leading from Media to West Chester, Pa. There are usually about 125 inmates the home, although during the winter months the number runs higher. With employees, etc., the number of persons contributing to the sewer system will average about 140.

The sewage flow varies considerably on different days. When the laundry is being operated, the total daily flow to about 10,000 gallons, 60 per cent of which runs off in about 6 hours. On all other days, the total flow amounts to about 4,000 gallons.

The plant consists of an Imhoff tank, dosing chamber, percolating filter, secondary tank and sand filter, as shown on the general plan. Both the sewer system and treatment plant operate by gravity….

The plant has now been in operation for about one year and has given perfect satisfaction. No odors are noticeable at any portion of the plant. The sewage is kept in a fresh state and is passed through the plant as rapidly as consistent with the degree of purification necessary.

The Imhoff tank has fully demonstrated its value even in an installation as small as this. The incoming sewage is kept fresh and free from the “blown up” sludge, so common in both plain settling tanks and septic tanks. At a recent inspection by the authors, the vents were covered with scum about 6 inches thick and considerable gas was being produced and given off. This gas was entirely inodorous and inflammable, which substantiated the claim of the inventor.”

Reference: Mebus, P.E. and F.R. Berlin. 1914. “Small Sewage Treatment Plant.” Municipal Journal. 37:25(December 17, 1914): 877-9.1217 General Plan for Small Sewage Treatment plant

November 18, 1987: Sludge Dumping Ground Closed Down; 1995: New York City Water Supply Protection

Sludge Dumping Ground

Sludge Dumping Ground

November 18, 1987New York Times headline— New York Quits Using An Ocean Dump Site. “New York City used an ocean dumping site 12 miles offshore for the last time yesterday. It plans to use a site 106 miles out for dumping sewage treatment waste from now on. New York City and other localities have been using the 12-mile site to dump sludge since 1938. Under an agreement with the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, the city began disposing of 10 percent of the city’s sludge at the 106-mile dumping grounds last April. The city disposes of 3.8 million wet tons of sludge annually from its 14 sewage treatment plants.”

1118 NYC WatershedsNovember 18, 1995New York Times headline—Watershed Pact Safeguards Drinking Water. “To the Editor:  While according deserved praise on the historic agreement to protect New York City’s drinking water, Eric A. Goldstein (letter, Nov. 10) asserts that “the agreement lacks concrete commitments needed to prevent further pollution.” As one of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani’s negotiators, let me assure your readers that the watershed agreement contains commitments that will protect drinking water quality into the next century.

The pact contains three principal elements: acquisition of sensitive watershed lands to buffer the water supply, revision of the city’s regulations governing activities in the watershed that affect water quality and partnership programs with upstate communities that will insure that any growth near the water supply will be consistent with drinking water quality needs.

The agreement does not authorize the construction of six new sewage plants. To examine the feasibility of pollution credit trading, a five-year pilot program will authorize towns to apply to build up to six new plants only if the sponsor offsets each unit of pollution added by a new plant with the removal of three units elsewhere. Total discharge will be limited, and each plant would use the most rigorous pollution removal technology available….Marilyn Gelber, Commissioner, Department of Environmental Protection New York.”

October 26, 1880: Pelton Water Wheel Patent; 1825: Erie Canal Opening; 1990: Closing Sewage Sludge Hauler

1026 Pelton water wheelOctober 26, 1880: “Lester A. Pelton, of Camptonville, CA, received a patent for a Water-Wheel (‘that class of water-wheels known as ‘hurdy-gurdy’ wheels…the whole reactionary force of the water is utilized’); the Pelton Water Wheel increased water power almost six-fold.”

“The Pelton wheel is a water impulse turbine. It was invented by Lester Allan Pelton in the 1870s. The Pelton wheel extracts energy from the impulse of moving water, as opposed to its weight like traditional overshot water wheel. Although many variations of impulse turbines existed prior to Pelton’s design, they were less efficient than Pelton’s design; the water leaving these wheels typically still had high speed, and carried away much of the energy. Pelton’s paddle geometry was designed so that when the rim runs at ½ the speed of the water jet, the water leaves the wheel with very little speed, extracting almost all of its energy, and allowing for a very efficient turbine.”

1008 Erie CanalOctober 26, 1825: Completion of the Erie Canal. “The Erie Canal, begun in 1817, was a triumph of early engineering in the United States and one of the most ambitious construction projects of nineteenth-century America. It was longer by far than any other canal previously built in Europe or America, crossing rivers and valleys, cutting through deep rock, and passing through marshes and forests in its 363-mile course across New York State. Throughout the nineteenth century, the Erie Canal underwent enormous changes and expansions in response to its overwhelming popularity as a means of travel and transport. These additions and revisions are documented by thousands of engineering maps and drawings created over the course of the century.

The driving force behind the canal project was DeWitt Clinton, former mayor of New York City and Governor of New York State. Completed in 1825, the original Erie Canal is often referred to as ‘Clinton’s Ditch.’ It was forty feet wide and four feet deep. Ten years after its opening, the Erie Enlargement was begun, built in response to the immediate overcrowding of the original canal. The Enlargement expanded the canal to seventy feet wide and seven feet deep. In 1903, a third canal was begun, known as the Barge Canal. Completed in 1918, it used a new route in many places and required no towpath, as the boats were self-propelled instead of drawn by horse or mule.”

Barge Dumpling Sludge

Barge Dumpling Sludge

October 26, 1990:  New York Times headline– Closing of Sludge Hauler Is Delayed. “New York State has been forced to allow a family it called New York Harbor’s worst polluter to continue its sewage sludge-hauling operation because three sewage authorities in Westchester County and New Jersey have no other way of transporting the sludge to an offshore dump site.

The State Department of Environmental Conservation had ordered that the oil- and sludge-barge business of the family, the Frank family, be shut by yesterday. But state officials said late yesterday that the sewage authorities had been unable to line up substitute haulers by the deadline.

The officials said they expected the sewage authorities to obtain the needed barge capacity by Monday, but Peter M. Frank, a family member and corporate officer, said ‘there is no excess capacity in this business in the Harbor.’

The authorities that were affected are Westchester County’s sewage treatment plant in Yonkers; the Joint Meeting of Union and Essex Counties Utilities Authority in Elizabethport, and the Middlesex County Utilities Authority of Sayerville.”

December 17, 1914: Small Sewage Treatment Plant

1217 Imhoff TankDecember 17, 1914: Municipal Journal article—Small Sewage Treatment Plant. “The Home for the Indigent of Delaware County, Pa., is located in Middletown Township, near the village of Lima, and on the main highway leading from Media to West Chester, Pa. There are usually about 125 inmates the home, although during the winter months the number runs higher. With employees, etc., the number of persons contributing to the sewer system will average about 140.

The sewage flow varies considerably on different days. When the laundry is being operated, the total daily flow to about 10,000 gallons, 60 per cent of which runs off in about 6 hours. On all other days, the total flow amounts to about 4,000 gallons.

The plant consists of an Imhoff tank, dosing chamber, percolating filter, secondary tank and sand filter, as shown on the general plan. Both the sewer system and treatment plant operate by gravity….

The plant has now been in operation for about one year and has given perfect satisfaction. No odors are noticeable at any portion of the plant. The sewage is kept in a fresh state and is passed through the plant as rapidly as consistent with the degree of purification necessary.

The Imhoff tank has fully demonstrated its value even in an installation as small as this. The incoming sewage is kept fresh and free from the “blown up” sludge, so common in both plain settling tanks and septic tanks. At a recent inspection by the authors, the vents were covered with scum about 6 inches thick and considerable gas was being produced and given off. This gas was entirely inodorous and inflammable, which substantiated the claim of the inventor.”

Reference: Mebus, P.E. and F.R. Berlin. 1914. “Small Sewage Treatment Plant.” Municipal Journal. 37:25(December 17, 1914): 877-9.

1217 General Plan for Small Sewage Treatment plant

November 18, 1987: Sludge Dumping Ground Closed Down; 1995: New York City Water Supply Protection

Sludge Dumping Ground

Sludge Dumping Ground

November 18, 1987New York Times headline— New York Quits Using An Ocean Dump Site. “New York City used an ocean dumping site 12 miles offshore for the last time yesterday. It plans to use a site 106 miles out for dumping sewage treatment waste from now on. New York City and other localities have been using the 12-mile site to dump sludge since 1938. Under an agreement with the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, the city began disposing of 10 percent of the city’s sludge at the 106-mile dumping grounds last April. The city disposes of 3.8 million wet tons of sludge annually from its 14 sewage treatment plants.”

1118 NYC WatershedsNovember 18, 1995New York Times headline—Watershed Pact Safeguards Drinking Water. “To the Editor:  While according deserved praise on the historic agreement to protect New York City’s drinking water, Eric A. Goldstein (letter, Nov. 10) asserts that “the agreement lacks concrete commitments needed to prevent further pollution.” As one of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani’s negotiators, let me assure your readers that the watershed agreement contains commitments that will protect drinking water quality into the next century.

The pact contains three principal elements: acquisition of sensitive watershed lands to buffer the water supply, revision of the city’s regulations governing activities in the watershed that affect water quality and partnership programs with upstate communities that will insure that any growth near the water supply will be consistent with drinking water quality needs.

The agreement does not authorize the construction of six new sewage plants. To examine the feasibility of pollution credit trading, a five-year pilot program will authorize towns to apply to build up to six new plants only if the sponsor offsets each unit of pollution added by a new plant with the removal of three units elsewhere. Total discharge will be limited, and each plant would use the most rigorous pollution removal technology available….Marilyn Gelber, Commissioner, Department of Environmental Protection New York.”

October 26, 1880: Pelton Water Wheel Patent; 1825: Erie Canal Opening; 1990: Closing Sewage Sludge Hauler

1026 Pelton water wheelOctober 26, 1880: “Lester A. Pelton, of Camptonville, CA, received a patent for a Water-Wheel (‘that class of water-wheels known as ‘hurdy-gurdy’ wheels…the whole reactionary force of the water is utilized’); the Pelton Water Wheel increased water power almost six-fold.”

“The Pelton wheel is a water impulse turbine. It was invented by Lester Allan Pelton in the 1870s. The Pelton wheel extracts energy from the impulse of moving water, as opposed to its weight like traditional overshot water wheel. Although many variations of impulse turbines existed prior to Pelton’s design, they were less efficient than Pelton’s design; the water leaving these wheels typically still had high speed, and carried away much of the energy. Pelton’s paddle geometry was designed so that when the rim runs at ½ the speed of the water jet, the water leaves the wheel with very little speed, extracting almost all of its energy, and allowing for a very efficient turbine.”

1008 Erie CanalOctober 26, 1825: Completion of the Erie Canal. “The Erie Canal, begun in 1817, was a triumph of early engineering in the United States and one of the most ambitious construction projects of nineteenth-century America. It was longer by far than any other canal previously built in Europe or America, crossing rivers and valleys, cutting through deep rock, and passing through marshes and forests in its 363-mile course across New York State. Throughout the nineteenth century, the Erie Canal underwent enormous changes and expansions in response to its overwhelming popularity as a means of travel and transport. These additions and revisions are documented by thousands of engineering maps and drawings created over the course of the century.

The driving force behind the canal project was DeWitt Clinton, former mayor of New York City and Governor of New York State. Completed in 1825, the original Erie Canal is often referred to as ‘Clinton’s Ditch.’ It was forty feet wide and four feet deep. Ten years after its opening, the Erie Enlargement was begun, built in response to the immediate overcrowding of the original canal. The Enlargement expanded the canal to seventy feet wide and seven feet deep. In 1903, a third canal was begun, known as the Barge Canal. Completed in 1918, it used a new route in many places and required no towpath, as the boats were self-propelled instead of drawn by horse or mule.”

Barge Dumpling Sludge

Barge Dumpling Sludge

October 26, 1990:  New York Times headline– Closing of Sludge Hauler Is Delayed. “New York State has been forced to allow a family it called New York Harbor’s worst polluter to continue its sewage sludge-hauling operation because three sewage authorities in Westchester County and New Jersey have no other way of transporting the sludge to an offshore dump site.

The State Department of Environmental Conservation had ordered that the oil- and sludge-barge business of the family, the Frank family, be shut by yesterday. But state officials said late yesterday that the sewage authorities had been unable to line up substitute haulers by the deadline.

The officials said they expected the sewage authorities to obtain the needed barge capacity by Monday, but Peter M. Frank, a family member and corporate officer, said ‘there is no excess capcity in this business in the Harbor.’

The authorities that were affected are Westchester County’s sewage treatment plant in Yonkers; the Joint Meeting of Union and Essex Counties Utilities Authority in Elizabethport, and the Middlesex County Utilities Authority of Sayerville.”