NEBRA Organizes Tour for Gilmanton Residents
On July 29, 2016, three members of the Gilmanton, NH Biosolids Committee visited the Concord, NH Hall Street wastewater treatment plant and witnessed a short, but typical, land application of biosolids on a Gilmanton hay field.
The wastewater tour was led by Kristin Noel, microbiologist and laboratory technician at the plant. It highlighted the biological and physical processes by which water is cleaned and solids are separated and treated. Concord has a unique, 2-stage, biological secondary treatment process that includes a two-story biological contact system in advance of standard aeration basins. Solids are treated by advanced lime and heat treatment, producing Class A biosolids, 100% of which are recycled to soils.
Gilmanton citizens have debated local biosolids use, voting twice in the past 5 years to not impose local restrictions. Biosolids have been used in Gilmanton for 20 years. Nevertheless, a few neighbors of farms that have used biosolids are still urging local restrictions. Selectman Marshall Bishop, who leads the local biosolids committee, hopes that further discussion now will lead to compromise and final resolution on the issue. He and the other members of the committee asked many questions during the tour, focusing on the potential for harm from trace chemicals and elements (heavy metals) in biosolids. Staff of Concord, Resource Management Inc. (RMI, the company managing Concord's biosolids), and NEBRA provided responses and information.
The tour ended at a hayfield in the southern part of Gilmanton, where Mike Potash of RMI explained the extensive permitting and management practices required by the state for biosolids applications to soils.
NEBRA salutes Kristin Noel, Superintendent Dan Driscoll, Operations Supervisor John Adie, and all the staff at Concord for their recent efforts in public outreach regarding wastewater treatment and biosolids recycling. Not only are they offering more tours, they increased their visibility at the annual Concord "Market Days" street fair in late June and have built raised planting beds in front of the treatment facility in which they are growing flowers and vegetables in an engineered soil containing Concord biosolids.
"Education, education, education," said Noel. "We want people to know about the work we do protecting public health and the environment, including recycling biosolids."
NEBRA is always available to help arrange tours & events. Just call!.