Sewage treatment is important for the environment as contaminants from wastewater are removed to dispose of appropriately in the surroundings for reuse. Usually, wastewater is obtained from various sources such as households, factories, or industries. There are various processes to treat sewage, and recycling can positively impact the environment. Sewage also plays a significant role in producing sludge during its treatment which contains contaminants from the wastewater and needs to be disposed of properly.
As much as sludge is beneficial for agricultural use, it increases health risks and adds volume and weight to the wastewater. Removing sludge can help decrease the weight of the waste, provide easy transportation, and reduce the cost of disposal. Sludge is biomass produced from sewage that contains organic and inorganic materials, pathogens, trace elements, plant concentrations, and chemicals. It builds up over time and needs disposal to prevent risk factors. Such disposal is typically called sludge hauling. Let’s take a closer look at how the sludge hauling process takes place in Jacksonville, FL.
Two methods are mainly used to dispose of sludge; it is either dumped into water or released in suitable conditions at the landfills.
Disposal of Sludge in Water:
This method of sludge disposal usually happens in coastal areas. Either treated or untreated, sludge is carried away and dumped into the sea. It is made sure that the dumping takes place in deep water to dilute the sludge completely, preventing any hazardous effects on the shoreline. However, a common issue that many beaches face is that of sludge flowing back to the shore and disrupting the environment of the beaches. Some of the deposits end up on the shore due to barging treatments of sludge.
Disposal of Sludge on Land:
While sludge disposal on land may be common, different methods are employed to manage it. These ways depend on the type of sludge and its suitable disposing site. Below are the disposal methods of sludge on land followed in Jacksonville, FL.
The sludge-hauling method of burial is chosen when the sludge is in raw form, where despite being covered in soil, an unpleasant smell arises. As a solution, trenches are dug with about 2 feet and a width of 3 feet. Once done, the sludge is dumped in the trenches and covered by earth up to 12 feet. The burial method of raw sludge is the most effective and economical way for areas with large open fields of land available as they save the cost of sludge treatment. However, the method is rare and used as a quick way of sludge disposal due to the limited area available. The sludge inside trenches likely stays moist and wet for years; hence, the area is not suitable to be reused for disposal or any other reasons.
Typically, digested sludge is dumped at landfills as it is not harmful to the atmosphere and can be left exposed, and does not leave a bad odor or pose any serious risk. However, it is important to ensure the sludge is well-digested and does not contain any raw matter. The underlying areas can be filled by dewatered or wet sludge, usually derived from drying beds. The wet sludge turns into a lagoon and is only used until the site is filled and is later abandoned. In the treatment process, the sludge is dried before the final removal and disposal.
Fertilization and Soil Conditioning:
Sludge that is dried and dewatered works efficiently for soil conditioning and agriculture. However, if it contains excessive nitrogen or potassium, it can harm the soil. Digested and heat-dried sludge contains low content of nitrogen which makes it a good quality soil conditioner and fertilizer. Therefore, the sludge is dumped and disposed of in agricultural fields to produce fine-quality crops.
Another method used for disposing of is composting. It helps to reduce volume and excessive material for easy and quick sludge hauling. Heat-dried sludge makes excellent compost for fertilization. It also reduces extra waste and is used for agricultural purposes as the dried and raw material is transported to large fields for disposal and dumping, reducing the volume of the sludge.
Sludge production from sewage has been produced largely, and its proper disposal and hauling are important. Contact Metro Rooter if you need assistance with sludge hauling or other plumbing services in Jacksonville, FL. You can also call here at (904) 567-3775 for help from our experts.