Increasing the environmental and economic sustainability of sod production using biosolids (2022)

INCREASING THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY OF SOD PRODUCTION USING BIOSOLIDS

Project Director
Soldat, D.

Recipient Organization
UNIV OF WISCONSIN
21 N PARK ST STE 6401
MADISON,WI 53715-1218

Performing Department
SOIL SCIENCE

Non Technical Summary
The objective of this research and extension project is to increase the profitability and sustainability of sod farming by developing a biosolids-based production system that will reduce supplemental fertilizer and pesticide requirements, minimize soil exported upon sod harvest, and create an important avenue for the beneficial use and re-distribution of municipal biosolids. The scope and objectives of this project were developed with extensive stakeholder involvement, including representatives from USDA-NRCS, wastewater treatment plants, sod production farms and related industry groups. The objectives of this project are to identify and address changes in pest pressure associated with a biosolids-based sod production system and by taking a trans-disciplinary, systems-based approach to improve production efficiency, productivity, and profitability over the long term for US sod producers. Previous small plot-scale research has established that high quality turfgrass can be produced using a variety of waste products including municipal biosolids. We propose to build upon these findings and seek to identify a profitable and practical farm-scale sod production system which utilizes biosolids products. We will thoroughly assess the agronomic, economic, and environmental impacts associated with a biosolids-based sod production system in the North Central and Mid-Atlantic Regions. In addition, we will develop a comprehensive outreach plan that seeks to educate and connect wastewater treatment operators with sod growers. To meet our objectives, we have assembled a trans-disciplinary team consisting of university specialists from plant and soil sciences, applied economics, health communication and social marketing.

Animal Health Component

(Video) The truth about Toxic Human Waste used as "fertilizer" on Farms across America. #Biosolids #PFAS

(N/A)

Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
1022130206125%
4032130202025%
2122130116010%
2132130114010%
6012130301010%
6072130308010%
2112130113010%

Knowledge Area
607 - Consumer Economics; 211 - Insects, Mites, and Other Arthropods Affecting Plants; 102 - Soil, Plant, Water, Nutrient Relationships; 212 - Pathogens and Nematodes Affecting Plants; 403 - Waste Disposal, Recycling, and Reuse; 213 - Weeds Affecting Plants; 601 - Economics of Agricultural Production and Farm Management;

Subject Of Investigation
2130 - Turf;

Field Of Science
2020 - Engineering; 1130 - Entomology and acarology; 1160 - Pathology; 3010 - Economics; 3080 - Sociology; 2061 - Pedology; 1140 - Weed science;

Keywords

biosolids

(Video) Hailin Zhang - Nutrient Management for Animal Manure and Biosolids

turfgrass

sod

kentucky bluegrass

tall fescue

(Video) Session #6: Biosolids and Biochar Application to Agricultural Land and AI for BMPs

turf

lawn

grass

Goals / Objectives
The long-term goals of this project are to 1) determine the agronomic, economic, and environmental benefits and drawbacks of using biosolids as a soil amendment and nutrient source for sod production as an alternative to traditional sod production systems; and 2) facilitate the adoption of a sustainable sod production system by sod growers throughout the US. There is a critical need to assess of the amount of soil removed during sod harvesting and export. Currently, no peer-reviewed estimates appear in the literature, but non-technical reports estimate that soil removal exceeds limits set by NRCS for sustainable production. A critical need also exists for identifying innovative and sustainable methods for beneficial use of biosolids as wastewater treatment plants across the US are faced with increasing restrictions on biosolids disposal and land application. We see a great potential for addressing these two critical need areas by linking sod producers and biosolids-generating facilities to develop a economically and environmentally sustainable biosolids-based sod production system. However, research is required to assess the net costs of each system, the social acceptability of sod produced on biosolids, and the short and long-term impact of biosolids application to sod quality and soil properties. Our research objectives are to 1) determine the agronomic benefits or drawbacks to using biosolids, composted biosolids, or de-watered biosolids for sod production compared to traditional production systems, 2) quantify soil loss or gain during traditional and biosolids-based sod production and harvesting, 3) determine short and long term impacts of using biosolids for sod production on soil physical, chemical, and biological properties, 4) quantify changes in fertilizer and pesticide inputs along with disease and insect pest susceptibilities, 5) calculate the economic advantages and disadvantages of using biosolids for sod production compared to traditional methods, and 6) identify the potential social barriers to producer and consumer acceptance of sod raised on biosolids and how those barriers might be overcome. Should the economics and other issues associated with biosolids use for sod production prove to be favorable, the expected outcomes would be adoption of biosolids for sod production and retention of on-farm soil. A seventh objective of this proposed work is to develop a comprehensive outreach program to communicate the results of this project to stakeholders and to facilitate the adoption of more economically and environmentally sustainable sod production systems throughout the United States.

Project Methods
An adequate body of research exists which indicates that the development of a biosolids-based sod production system is an attainable goal within the timeframe of this proposed project. Biosolids have been used successfully for pastures (Cogger et al., 2001; Gaskin et al., 2003), but the use of biosolids for sod production or turfgrass growth has only been reported once (Flannigan et al., 1993). In contrast, several researchers have reported benefits of using composted biosolids for establishing and maintaining turfgrass. For example, Chandran et al. (2005) discovered that Kentucky bluegrass grown on composted biosolids had a lower incidence of Drechslera leaf spot than traditionally grown turfgrass. They attributed the lower disease incidence to the increased health and vigor associated with the turf grown with compost. Other researchers have also reported exceptional turfgrass growth associated with composted biosolids incorporation or application (Benmbarek et al., 1994; Barker, 2001; Roberts et al., 2001). However, none of these projects have used a farm-scale systems approach, including economic and social aspects, to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks to a biosolids-based sod production system. Our project will also be unique from previous research by determining the amount of net soil loss or gain from traditional sod harvesting production systems compared to biosolids-based production systems. Both short and long-term soil physiochemical changes will be evaluated. In addition, this project will include a thorough economic analysis of traditional sod production systems compared with various biosolids-based production systems. We will also identify the social barriers to widespread public adoption of sod grown with biosolids. The results of the economic analysis, social barrier identification, and soil quality data will be used to develop a comprehensive outreach plan to educate growers about the economic and long-term sustainability aspects of a biosolids-based sod production system. The impact of the study will be readily measurable by identifying the amount of acreage and sales of sod produced with biosolids.

Progress 09/01/08 to 08/31/13

Outputs
Target Audience: Sod producers, farm workers, wastewater treatment plant operators, USDA-NRCS, homeowners, landscapers and other sod consumers, state and regulatory agencies. Changes/Problems:Nothing ReportedWhat opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? Research experiments at sod farms in Wisconsin and Virginia were concluded. The experiments evaluated the agronomic, economic, and environmental impacts of using biosolids for sod production. During the 2013 growing season, final measurements were collected on how biosolids additions affected sod strength, visual appearance, rooting, and pest pressure. The economics of biosolids-based sod production were compared to those of conventional production. The project continued to provide professional development for those associated with the data collection and research, including Nick Bero - technician, and Sabrina Ruis - graduate student at UW-Madison. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest? In 2013, the research results were disseminated at Field Days for turfgrass professionals, scientific meetings, and via a radio interview. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?Nothing Reported

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? The agronomic and economic benefits to biosolids-based sod production have been quantified in the Midwest and Mid-Altantic US. This project has demonstrated that by switching to biosolids-based sod production, growers can expect to maintain similar sod quality at a reduced cost. The economics are complicated because of the non-uniformity of local subsidies and programs, but if biosolids transport and application are subsidized, the cost of sod production drop by nearly $1,000 per acre. Therefore, a 2000 arce sod farm may reduce their production costs by nearly $2,000,000. However, in areas where the biosolids transport and application is not subsidized by local programs, the cost of using the biosolids will exceed traditional methods, at the current cost of fertilizer. However, non-subsidized biosolids use will become more attractive as fertilizer prices increase. We continue to work with growers and wastewater treatment plant operators to facilitate the adoption of biosolids-based sod production. In February 2014, the PI and co-PIs will be leading a workshop at the Turf Producers International Conference to disucss the project results. Our research is also providing accuruate estimates of soil loss from traditional and biosolids-based sod production. Scientific manuscripts are currently being drafted. This project continues to create changes in knowledge by demonstrating the most effective use of biosolids for sod production in the Midwest and Mid-Altantic regions of the US. The changes in knowledge have created changes in action, as growers familiar with the work have investigated altering their conventional production systems to maximize production from an agronomic and economic standpoint, while minimizing negative environmental impacts. As educational efforts continue, these changes in action are expected to continue.

Publications

  • Type:WebsitesStatus:PublishedYear Published:2013Citation:Biosolids for the sod business. http://news.cals.wisc.edu/2013/12/06/biosolids-for-the-sod-business-audio/
  • Type:Conference Papers and PresentationsStatus:AcceptedYear Published:2013Citation:Soldat, D.J. et al. 2013. Sustainable Turfgrass Production Using Biosolids. American Society for Horticultural Science Annual Conference. 2013 July 22-25. Palm Desert, CA

Progress 09/01/11 to 08/31/12

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Research experiments at sod farms in Wisconsin and Virginia were continued. The experiments are evaluating the agronomic, economic, and environmental impacts of using biosolids for sod production. During the 2012 growing season, data were collected on how biosolids additions affected sod strength, visual appearance, rooting, and pest pressure. The economics of biosolids-based sod production were compared to those of conventional production. The results were widely disseminated at field days and conferences in the Midwest and Virginia. PARTICIPANTS: Doug Soldat (Project Director) - coordinated and project planned and designed in Wisconsin and Virginia, supervised students (Melby, Griffith), helped apply treatments, collect data, and follow-up with all other personnel to ensure project objectives were being met and adequate progress was being made. Richard Brooks (Co-PD) - Univ. of Wisconsin, Dept. of Professional Development and Applied Studies, developed protocol for assessing stakeholder views about use of biosolids for sod production. Erik Ervin (Co-PD)- Virginia Tech, Dept. of Crop Soil and Environmental Sciences, primary contact and leader of the Virginia field study, coordinated project planning and execution, supervised graduate student (Cataldi) and research scientist (Zhang). Gregory Evanylo (Co-PD) Virginia Tech, Dept. of Crop Soil and Environmental Sciences, helped with planning and design of experiments, worked with VA Dept. of Environmental Quality to obtain permits to conduct field research with biosolids. James Kerns (Co-PD) - Univ. of Wisconsin, Dept. of Plant Pathology, planned and began executing studies to assess how biosolids affect the host-pathogen-environment interactions for two common sod diseases. Charles Kome (Co-PD)- USDA-NRCS, helped plan studies to obtain data that can be used in soil loss modeling exercises. Paul Mitchell (Co-PD)- Univ. of Wisconsin, Dept. of Agricultural and Applied Economics, collected initial information on sod farming activities for partial budget analysis to determine economic implication of the various sod production systems being tested. John Stier (Co-PD) - Univ. of Wisconsin, Dept. of Horticulture, helped plan and design experiments, supervised technician helping with data collection (Pease). Also R. Chris Williamson (Co-PD); Richard Wolkowski (Co-PD); Ben Pease - research technician at Univ. of Wisconsin; Xunzhong Zhang - research scientist at Virgnia Tech; Eric Melby - graduate student at Univ. of Wisconsin; Shane Griffith - undergraduate student at Univ. of Wisconsin; Derik Cataldi - graduate student at Virginia Tech. TARGET AUDIENCES: Wastewater treatment plant operators, sod growers, USDA-NRCS, homeowners, sod consumers, farm workers, state and other regulatory agencies. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
This project continues to create changes in knowledge by demonstrating the most effective use of biosolids for sod production in the Midwest and Mid-Altantic regions of the US. The changes in knowledge have created changes in action, as growers familiar with the work have investigated altering their conventional production systems to maximize production from an agronomic and economic standpoint, while minimizing negative environmental impacts. As educational efforts continue, these changes in action are expected to continue.

Publications

  • Cataldi, D., E. Ervin, and G. Evanylo. 2012. Biosolids for cool-season sod production. VA Turfgrass J. p. 18-20.
  • Soldat, D., S. Griffith, E. Ervin, G. Evanylo, D. Cataldi, and J. Stier. 2012. Biosolids-based sod production. TurfNews. 36(3):p. 26-28.
  • Horgan, B., C. Rosen, P. Rice, D. Soldat, B. Branham, and K. Frank. 2012. Midwest turf fertilizer laws. p. 1-36. In 2012 GCSAA Education Conference: Conference SessionPresentations. Las Vegas, Nevada: Feb 27 - March 2, 2012. Lawrence, Kansas: Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.
  • Soldat, D., G. Obear, B. DeBels, and P. Barak. 2012. Quantifying turfgrass cover with digital image analysis using Imagej. Int. Ann. Meet. p. 72696.
  • Cataldi, J., E. H. Ervin, and G. Evanylo. 2012. Biosolids effects on soil properties in tall fescue sod production. Int. Ann. Meet. p. 74948.
  • Zhang, X., D. Zhou, E. H. Ervin, G. K. Evanylo, D. Cataldi, and J. Li. 2012. Biosolids impact antioxidant metabolism associated with drought tolerance in tall fescue. HortScience. 47(10):p. 1550-1555.

Progress 09/01/10 to 08/31/11

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Research experiments at a sod farm in the Madison, WI area and another in the Washington D.C. metro area were continued. These experiments are evaluating the agronomic, economic, and environmental impacts of using a biosolids-based production system to grow sod. During the 2011 growing season data were collected on how biosolids affected sod strength and vigor, visual turfgrass quality, rooting strength, and pest pressures. The economics of biosolids-based production were compared to conventional sod production. The results were widely disseminated to growers, regulators, and wastewater treatment plant operators at field days in Virginia and Wisconsin. Four presentations were given at the 2011 Crop Science Society of America Annual Meeting, and a presentation given at the 2011 American Society of Horticultural Science Annual Meeting. These presentations exposed the work to approximately 2000 scientists and practitioners. PARTICIPANTS: Doug Soldat (Project Director) - coordinated field studies in Wisconsin and advised on coordination and execution of field studies in Virginia, supervises students (Ruis, Griffith), helped apply treatments, collect data, and follow-up with all other personnel to ensure project objectives are being met and adequate progress being made. Richard Brooks (Co-PD) - Univ. of Wisconsin, Dept. of Professional Development and Applied Studies, developed protocol and carried out assessments of stakeholder views about use of biosolids for sod production Erik Ervin (Co-PD)- Virginia Tech, Dept. of Crop Soil and Environmental Sciences, primary contact and leader of the Virginia field study, coordinated project planning and execution, supervises graduate student (Cataldi) and research scientist (Zhang). Gregory Evanylo (Co-PD) Virginia Tech, Dept. of Crop Soil and Environmental Sciences, helped with planning and design of experiments, worked with VA Dept. of Environmental Quality to obtain permits to conduct field research with biosolids. James Kerns (Co-PD) - Univ. of Wisconsin, Dept. of Plant Pathology, planned and began executing studies to assess how biosolids affect the host/pathogen-environment interactions for two common sod diseases. Charles Kome (Co-PD)-USDA-NRCS, helped plan studies to obtain data that can be used in soil loss modelling exercises. Paul Mitchell Co-PD)- Univ. of Wisconsin, Dept. of Agricultural and Applied Economics, collected initial information on sod farming activities for partial budget analysis to determine economic implication of the various sod production systems being tested in this study. John Stier (Co-PD) - Univ. of Wisconsin, Dept. of Horticulture, helped plan and design experiments, supervises technician helping with data collection (Pease), provides assistance with data collection R. Chris Williamson (Co-PD), designed protocol for evaluating effect of biosolids and insect pest pressure and damage. Richard Wolkowski (Co-PD), helped with design and logistics of study, including application of biosolids to large field plots. Ben Pease - research technician @ Univ. of Wisconsin Xunzhong Zhang - research scientist @ Virgnia Tech Sabrina Ruis - graduate student @ Univ. of Wisconsin Shane Griffith - graduate student @ Univ. of Wisconsin Derik Cataldi - graduate student @ Virginia Tech This project relies upon the guidance of an advisory panel that consists of key members of stakeholder groups. TARGET AUDIENCES: Wastewater treatment plant operators, sod growers, The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, consumers of sod, sod farm workers, state and local regulatory agencies. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
This project continues to create changes in knowledge by demonstrating how biosolids can (and cannot) be used for sod production in the North Central and Mid-Atlantic regions of the US. Researchers on this project have determined optimal application rates that maximize sod production from agronomic and economic stand points, but minimize negative environmental consequences. Changes in action have been observed as at least one grower has switched to a biosolids-based sod production system in Wisconsin. Other growers have been exposed to the results of the study and have participated in field days designed to facilitate changes in actions of the sod growers. Changes in conditions are expected to closely follow the changes in actions, as using biosolids may improve the profitability of sod production while also providing a new avenue for the beneficial re-use of municipal biosolids.

Publications

  • Cataldi, Joseph; Ervin, Erik H.; Evanylo, Gregory. 2011. 2011 International Annual Meetings: [Abstracts][ASA-CSSA-SSSA]. p. 65612.
  • Zhang, Xunzhong; Zhou, Damai; Ervin, Erik; Evanylo, Gregory; Cataldi, Joseph. 2011. 2011 International Annual Meetings: [Abstracts][ASA-CSSA-SSSA]. p. 65241.
  • Ruis, Sabrina; Stier, John; Soldat, Douglas. 2011. 2011 International Annual Meetings: [Abstracts][ASA-CSSA-SSSA]. p. 64226.
  • Griffith, Shane; Soldat, Douglas; Stier, John; Wolkowski, Richard; Kerns, James. 2011. 2011 International Annual Meetings: [Abstracts][ASA-CSSA-SSSA]. p. 66025.
  • Griffith, S., D.J. Soldat, J.C. Stier, and R. Wolkowski. 2011. Beneficial reuse of biosolids for Kentucky bluegrass sod production. In Proceedings from the Annual Conference of the American Society for Horticultural Science. P. 65-65. American Society for Horticultural Science, Alexandria, VA.

Progress 09/01/09 to 08/31/10

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Major field experiments were initiated at sod farms in Madison, WI and Washington D.C. in fall 2009 to test the agronomic, economic, and environmental impacts of using a biosolids-based sod production system. During the 2010 growing season, data were collected on the various treatments including agronomic parameters such as sod tensile strength, visual turfgrass quality, the magnitude and frequency of weed, disease, and pest pressure; economic parameters including the costs assoicated with each production system (treatment), and environmental parameters including soil nutrient levels. Preliminary data indicate that biosolids-based production at both sites yielded similar or enhanced sod quality and strength compared to traditional sod production practices. The results of this study so far have been fairly widely disseminated to scientists and practitioners. Two posters were presented at the 2010 annual meeting of the Crop Science Society of America, at the 2010 Minnesota Turfgrass Conference, at the 2010 Virginia Tech and Wisconsin Turfgrass Field Days, a meeting of the Wisconsin Sod Growers Association. These presentations represent potential exposure to an international audience of 2000 scientists and practitioners. PARTICIPANTS: Doug Soldat (Project Director) - coordinated field studies in Wisconsin and advised on coordination and execution of field studies in Virginia, supervises students (Melby, Griffith), helped apply treatments, collect data, and follow-up with all other personnel to ensure project objectives are being met and adequate progress being made. Richard Brooks (Co-PD) - Univ. of Wisconsin, Dept. of Professional Development and Applied Studies, developed protocol for assessing stakeholder views about use of biosolids for sod production Erik Ervin (Co-PD)- Virginia Tech, Dept. of Crop Soil and Environmental Sciences, primary contact and leader of the Virginia field study, coordinated project planning and execution, supervises graduate student (Cataldi) and research scientist (Zhang). Gregory Evanylo (Co-PD) Virginia Tech, Dept. of Crop Soil and Environmental Sciences, helped with planning and design of experiments, worked with VA Dept. of Environmental Quality to obtain permits to conduct field research with biosolids. James Kerns (Co-PD) - Univ. of Wisconsin, Dept. of Plant Pathology, planned and began executing studies to assess how biosolids affect the host/pathogen-environment interactions for two common sod diseases. Charles Kome (Co-PD)- USDA-NRCS, helped plan studies to obtain data that can be used in soil loss modelling exercises. Paul Mitchell (Co-PD)- Univ. of Wisconsin, Dept. of Agricultural and Applied Economics, collected initial information on sod farming activities for partial budget analysis to determine economic implication of the various sod production systems being tested in this study. John Stier (Co-PD) - Univ. of Wisconsin, Dept. of Horticulture, helped plan and design experiments, supervises technician helping with data collection (Pease), provides assistance with data collection R. Chris Williamson (Co-PD), designed protocol for evaluating effect of biosolids and insect pest pressure and damage. Richard Wolkowski (Co-PD), helped with design and logistics of study, including application of biosolids to large field plots. Ben Pease - research technician at Univ. of Wisconsin. Xunzhong Zhang - research scientist at Virgnia Tech. Eric Melby - graduate student at Univ. of Wisconsin. Shane Griffith - undergraduate student at Univ. of Wisconsin. Derik Cataldi - graduate student at Virginia Tech. This project relies upon the guidance of an advisory panel that consists of key members of stakeholder groups. TARGET AUDIENCES: Wastewater treatment plant operators, sod growers, The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, consumers of sod, sod farm workers, state and local regulatory agencies. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
The preliminary data described in the Outputs section were convincing enough to convince at least one grower to immediately adapt his sod production system to include an application of biosolids from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Also, the data collected so far regarding agronomic responses (sod tensile strength, pest pressure, and visual turf quality) produced results worthy of publication and discussion of two posters at the 2010 Crop Science Society of America annual meeting where one of the posters won second place in contest judged by scientific peers.

Publications

  • Griffith, S., D. Soldat, J. Stier, and R. Wolkowski. 2010. The effect of biosolids on Kentucky bluegrass sod establishment. Int. Ann. Meet. p. 58664.
  • Cataldi, J., E. Ervin, and G. Evanylo. 2010. Using biosolids to increase the sustainability of sod production. Int. Ann. Meet. p. 61843.

Progress 09/01/08 to 08/31/09

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Project planning activities between the two groups in Madison, WI and Blacksburg, VA were conducted in Sept. 2008 - April 2009. These included stakeholder meetings and follow-up communications. The groups worked with their respective municipal water treatment plants to obtain material that was to be tested. The groups then worked with their respective sod growers in Wisconsin and Virginia to determine the final treatment application rates and cultural practices that were to be followed on the sod farm. The treatments were applied at at both sites in mid-August 2009. Data collection continued through mid-November 2009. Because the experiment is in its early stages, outputs are not yet available. PARTICIPANTS: Doug Soldat (Project Director) - coordinated and project planned and design in Wisconsin and Virginia, supervises students (Melby, Griffith), helped apply treatments, collect data, and follow-up with all other personnel to ensure project objectives are being met and adequate progress being made. Richard Brooks (Co-PD) - Univ. of Wisconsin, Dept. of Professional Development and Applied Studies, developed protocol for assessing stakeholder views about use of biosolids for sod production. Erik Ervin (Co-PD)- Virginia Tech, Dept. of Crop Soil and Environmental Sciences, primary contact and leader of the Virginia field study, coordinated project planning and execution, supervises graduate student (Cataldi) and research scientist (Zhang). Gregory Evanylo (Co-PD)- Virginia Tech, Dept. of Crop Soil and Environmental Sciences, helped with planning and design of experiments, worked with VA Dept. of Environmental Quality to obtain permits to conduct field research with biosolids. James Kerns (Co-PD) - Univ. of Wisconsin, Dept. of Plant Pathology, planned and began executing studies to assess how biosolids affect the host-pathogen-environment interactions for two common sod diseases. Charles Kome (Co-PD)- USDA-NRCS, helped plan studies to obtain data that can be used in soil loss modelling exercises. Paul Mitchell (Co-PD)- Univ. of Wisconsin, Dept. of Agricultural and Applied Economics, collected initial information on sod farming activities for partial budget analysis to determine economic implication of the various sod production systems being tested in this study. John Stier (Co-PD) - Univ. of Wisconsin, Dept. of Horticulture, helped plan and design experiments, supervises technician helping with data collection (Pease), provides assistance with data collection. R. Chris Williamson (Co-PD), designed protocol for evaluating effect of biosolids and insect pest pressure and damage. Richard Wolkowski (Co-PD), helped with design and logistics of study, including application of biosolids to large field plots. Ben Pease - research technician at the Univ. of Wisconsin. Xunzhong Zhang - research scientist at Virgnia Tech. Eric Melby - graduate student at the Univ. of Wisconsin. Shane Griffith - undergraduate student at the Univ. of Wisconsin. Derik Cataldi - graduate student at Virginia Tech. This project relies upon the guidance of an advisory panel that consists of key members of stakeholder groups, including: Karl Berger, Policy analyst, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments; Rhonda Bowen, Agronomist, Virginia Assoc. of Municipal Wastewater Agencies; Paul Huggett, Sod Grower, Paul's Tree and Turf (WI); Kirk Hunter, Executive Director, Turf Producers International; Dave Lightle, Agronomist, USDA-NRCS; Karen Pallansch, General Manager, Alexandria Sanitation District; Scott Woodward, Sod Grower, Woodward Turf Farms (VA); Christopher Peot, Wastewater Engineer, DC-WASA and Mid Atlantic Biosolids Association; Hunter Richardson, Biosolids Program Supervisor, Synagro; Dave Taylor, Director of Special Projects, Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District; Neil Zahradka, Manager of Office of Land Application Programs; Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. TARGET AUDIENCES: Target audiences include: Wastewater treatment plant operators, sod growers, The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, consumers of sod, sod farm workers, state and local regulatory agencies. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
Because the experiment is in its early stages, outcomes/impacts are not yet available.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period

Videos

1. ChemEng Evolution webinar recording: Chemical Engineering for Sustainable Food and Water
(Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE))
2. IRWD's Biosolids and Energy Recovery Project - Paul Cook
(NWRIwater)
3. Is Your Compost Made of Sewage Sludge?
(Planet Natural)
4. The Benefits of Biosolids 2020 06 12
(North East Biosolids & Residuals Association)
5. Contaminants of Emerging Concern e.g., PFAS in Biosolids and Wastewater
(Illinois Sustainable Technology Center)
6. Contaminated sewage used as fertiliser on English farms – secret report
(Greenpeace Unearthed)

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