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Columbus Biosolids Flow-through Termophilic Treatment (BFT) as a Cost Effective Means to Achieve Class A Digestion.
Author: John Willis, Ted Hull, Perry Schafer; Michael Aitken, Mark Sobsey (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill); Cliff Arnett, Billy Turner (Columbus Water Works)
Date: 12/02
Residuals Management Conference 2002

Like many utilities across the country, the Columbus Water Works (CWW-Columbus, Georgia) has found access to previously available lands for Class B biosolids application becoming increasingly limited. In response to these concerns, CWW considered a number of processes to further reduce pathogens (PFRPs) and operational options for achieving Class A biosolids quality allowed in the 40 CRF, Part 503 regulation. A new, potential Class A process was identified to be very cost effective for retrofit to a treatment plant with existing anerobic digesters. Development of a new Class A process (PFRP equivalent process) would require considerable research effort and negotiation with the Pathogen Equivalency Committee (PEC) of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA); this was determined to be work the investment based on the potential capital and operational saving that would result from nation-wide application of the new technology. The treatment technology has been named “Biosolids Flow-Through Thermophilic Treatment” (BFT). This paper provides an overview of the BFT process, discussion on CWW’s approach to developing the process, and preliminary pathogen testing data from the investigation.

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