Biosolids

In addition to the millions of gallons of water it recycles each year, WPC also recycles another material: biosolids.

 

WHAT ARE BIOSOLIDS?

Each year, WPC delivers over 4,700 tons of biosolids to Huntsville’s Waste-to-Energy facility. Here, along with Huntsville’s solid waste, the material is incinerated to produce steam energy. Biosolids are the natural by-product of the conventional wastewater treatment process. They are, in essence, dead microbes. Microbes – microscopic bacteria – are essential to the wastewater treatment process. They consume the organic matter contained in wastewater.

The primary point of this activity in a wastewater treatment facility is in the Aeration Basin. The microbes thrive, grow, and reproduce in the Aeration Basin’s nutrient- and oxygen-rich environment. Excess microbes are removed from the treatment process. These are called “biosolids”. At removal, biosolids are mostly water. The material is placed onto sand beds to dry out. After sufficiently drying, the material is trucked to Huntsville’s Waste-to-Energy Facility for incineration. Steam energy produced by this facility is sold to Redstone Arsenal. The recycling process is complete.