A three-year field study conducted by Ohio State University’s School of Environment and Natural Resources in partnership with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) has resulted in a valuable collection of research that can benefit the Calumet region. The results of this study will be presented to the public on Jan. 18 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant Auditorium, 6001 W. Pershing Road, Cicero. This seminar is eligible for Professional Development Credits/Continuing Education Units, and reservations are required.
The study compared the performance of MWRD’s biosolids with the United States Composting Council’s certified vegetative compost to determine its restorative qualities in degraded soil. Dr. Nicholas Basta, Professor of Soil and Environmental Chemistry, lead the study.
“Our goal was to evaluate the potential impacts of biosolids and compost application on surface water quality in the Calumet region,” explained Dr. Thomas Granato, MWRD Director of Monitoring and Research. “This joint effort grew from a one day workshop in 2008 where members of the Calumet Government Working Group and experts in the field of ecological restoration discussed the state of the science of using biosolids for restoration and reconstruction of degraded land in the Calumet region. Biosolids are a cost-effective resource and are in abundant supply.”
Biosolids are nutrient-rich, highly organic material developed through extensive treatment and are a superior, yet less expensive alternative to chemical fertilizer. Biosolids can be used in landscaping, for turf at parks and athletic fields and for agricultural crops. MWRD’s biosolids are of exceptional quality based on federal standards and, as a service to municipal and commercial users in Cook County, the MWRD offers and delivers biosolids at no cost.
“Many area golf courses, park districts and communities in the Chicago area are using biosolids to improve the quality of their turf, and farmers in the nearby counties like the benefits of higher yields they receive by using biosolids,” said Commissioner Mariyana Spyropoulos, Chairman of the MWRD Monitoring and Research Committee.
Reservations for the Jan. 18 presentation can be made by calling (708) 588-4264. The program and parking are complimentary.
Additional information about the MWRD’s biosolids program can be found at www.mwrd.org.
Our water environment…Take it personally.
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