Residuals – Biosolids – Sludge Curriculum Infusion Unit

Units Team Philip N. Kane, Ed.D. – Author Patricia Young – Graphic Design and Production Copyright @ 2005 Permission is hereby granted to classroom teachers and informal educators to make unlimited copies of any portion of this material for classroom or teacher education uses. Additional requested reproductions may be charged at shipping and printing costs only. All other rights reserved. For additional permissions contact: Florida Water Environment Association Executive Manager 407-363-7751


John Giachino Tim Madhanagopal Tom Jones Joe Cheatham Marilyn Barger Bill Marcous Julie Karlinskint C. Frank Wyche Chris Roschek Tommy Tyson Tracy Newsome Dr. Phil Kane Robert Conner Ray Hanson

Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary
Colleen Castille Central District Director Vivian Garfein Maurice Barker Christianne C. Ferraro K. Dennise Judy Phil Kane Lou Ley Jeff Prather Tricia Williams Patricia Young

Special Recognition To Educator Reviewers:
Vivian Garfein Ginny Miller Elizabeth Morrison Sara Bhonsale Oberbeck


When I first considered how to convey to the members of the Florida Water Environment Association the concept of an “infusion unit” as a tool for helping teachers educate our school populations about biosolids, I explained to them that infusion involves a multidisciplinary approach to learning. With biosolids a multidisciplinary approach is one where biosolids would not simply be taught in a single traditional class subject area such as a science. Learning about biosolids could be experienced in any class subject. Biosolids education would be infused or incorporated into all aspects of the curriculum. This approach is one that inculcates knowledge, attitudes, and psychomotor skills into the student’s whole learning environment and experience. Teaching from a multidisciplinary approach creates a learning environment where the students can develop a holistic educational reference base that shall serve as a starting point for future personal use all their lives. Any new encounters a student experiences with biosolids issues will be as a biosolids literate citizen. This teacher’s biosolids infusion unit was then developed and intended as inspiration, guidance, reference, and a point of departure. It is assuredly not the absolute authoritative encyclopedia of biosolids. It is, however, an effort to provide the best and most accurate possible current teacher resource on the subject of biosolids that could be developed. The issues and elements involved with biosolids are varied and wide ranging ones that can not be completely addressed in any single curriculum source such as this unit and that is not its intent. This is an educational source that is to be used in any manner deemed relevant by each individual teacher. Teachers understand their students and the needs of those students. It is hoped that this educational resource will provide a springboard from which you as a teacher may leap into the convoluted and complex world of biosolids. Each of us is undeniably intricately involved with biosolids issues and there is an overwhelming urgency and need for biosolids education. A biosolids literate citizen is the primary goal of this teacher’s biosolids curriculum infusion unit.


Lastly, I remember an admonition I received from my parents as a young student. I was concerned about my educational efforts not being adequate to the challenges I was experiencing in school. My mother advised me to simply do the best I could. With that advice I did so and continue to do so. The last component of the advice from my parents that I omitted was that once having done my best; I was then not to worry about it. Do what you will with this resource and then forget about it, as that was your best effort at the time. Good advice! A final biosolids admonition from me to supplement the above would be to keep your sense of humor. It serves me well with biosolids issues. It is to be hoped that by the use of this infusion unit, the rose by any name that we choose to call biosolids will be embraced. However, in this unit biosolids, residuals, and sludge are used interchangeably. Phil Kane, Ed.D 2005


Table of Contents
Page Teacher Background What are these treated domestic wastewater solids? All wastewater solids are not created equal. What Rules? Good for Soil Amendment? Historical Perspective on Domestic Wastewater Solids. Issues! We got issues! The Future! Teacher Activity Note Activity: Biosolids Around the World Activity: Rule Making Activity: Biosolids Land Application Site Diorama Activity: Biosolids Town Meeting Activity: Letter Writing Activity: Biosolids Growth Experiments Activity: Map Making Aerial Maps Activity: Comparison Shopping Activity: Designer Trucks Truck Pictures Activity: “The Sky’s the Limit” for Biosolids Activity: Loading Up Activity: A Residuals Sense of Humor Resources 1-20 1 4 11 12 12 14 17 21 23 25 27 31 35 37 41 43-47 49 51 52-55 57 59 63 65


Teacher Background: What are these treated domestic wastewater solids?
People often believe that anything originating from a domestic wastewater treatment facility is “raw untreated human waste”. The names residuals, biosolids, or sludge all are ones that refer to a product generated at a domestic wastewater treatment facility that can invoke any number of immediate responses ranging from intensely negative ones to intensely positive ones at the other end of the spectrum. The above product in question is a natural byproduct of people. People like all animals generate personal wastes. The average American contributes between 60 and 190 gallons of wastewater each day. Wastewater is about 99 percent water by weight and is cleaned at wastewater treatment plants before it is recycled to rivers, lakes, streams, the ocean, or reused for groundwater recharge or irrigation. Treatment plants may have primary treatment processes that utilize screens, grit chambers, and sedimentation tanks to physically or mechanically remove floatable and sinking solids. Treatment plants may also have secondary treatment processes in which microorganisms use the organic material contained in the wastewater as a food source thereby converting dissolved unsettled solids into sinking biosolids that can then be removed. The remaining much cleaner wastewater is disinfected before it is returned to the environment. A number of wastewater treatment plants employ the even better tertiary treatment that may include physical, chemical or biological processes to remove nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. The other less readily recognized component of domestic wastewater is the solids component. This is the sludge that is called by many names. The solid domestic wastewater component generated during the treatment of domestic wastewater may be disposed of at a landfill without any further treatment for land application. However, in the interest of wise recycling the solid component of domestic wastewater may be treated to the point that it becomes a beneficial soil amendment or fertilizer. 1

An important issue that should be noted is when the solids first arrive at the treatment facility; they are derived directly from people and their activities. However, a key feature is that the solids are then changed dramatically. The solids become food for microorganisms like protozoans and bacteria that readily ravenously consume those initial solids. In this manner the solids become growth components of the facility treatment microorganisms. As the treatment of the domestic wastewater continues the new microorganism solids continue through the facility. Eventually at the end of the facility and beyond the microorganisms begin to die leaving their corpses, so to speak, as the solids that are known by many names such as biosolids. The initial people solids become microorganism solids and more.


The Federal government term given to the solid treated domestic wastewater component is biosolids. In Florida they are called residuals historically or biosolids. At a wastewater treatment facility sludge is the common term.


All wastewater treated solids are not created equal!
Note that if the biosolids are to be recycled and used as a soil amendment they must be created from processes approved by the EPA. As previously stated, if the solids or biosolids are not to be recycled they typically are disposed of in a landfill and that disposal method takes up valuable space. The landfill may not want the biosolids. The biosolids that are to be recycled as a soil amendment are generated in one of several EPA approved options. The EPA defines the soil amendment products somewhat differently than the State of Florida, but the results are basically the same. In Florida to generate Class B soil amendment product biosolids, an EPA “Process To Significantly Reduce Pathogens” must be used by the wastewater treatment facility. Class B biosolids are the lowest level of treated biosolids that may be land applied in Florida. Class A is more intensely treated than Class B and Class AA is one step beyond Class A, since it has a greater reduction in available heavy metals. The Class B biosolids generated by an EPA approved method, such as lime stabilization, anaerobic digestion, or aerobic digestion process are suitable for land application. As can be determined from the term “significantly reduce” the sludge still retains a slight possibility that some pathogens or disease causing organisms may still be present. Class B biosolids may be land applied, but due to the slight possibility of lingering pathogens the land application activities have to follow some restrictive requirements such as setbacks from water, wells, and public occupied buildings and other requirements. The land application restrictions may be thought of as a protective “belt and suspenders” approach to recycling the biosolids. If the biosolids generated follow a “Process To Further Reduce Pathogens” (Class A or AA) where the process typically involves increased temperature and longer treatment times there are fewer numbers of restrictions. The biosolids are deemed to be free from pathogens. The test methods that must be used for detecting the pathogenic organisms are the best current EPA approved methods that people have to date and with these methods there is reasonable assurance that no pathogens can be detected. Whether a Process to Significantly Reduce Pathogens or a Process to Further Reduce Pathogens is used, another EPA process must be used to reduce the product’s


attractiveness to agents that may disperse any pathogenic elements of the residuals out of their intended area of use as a soil amendment. These EPA approved processes are called Vector Attraction Reduction methods. (See Tables 1, 2, and 3 on the next page.)


Table 1. Processes to Significantly Reduce Pathogens (PSRPs)
1. Aerobic Digestion

Sewage sludge is agitated with air or oxygen to maintain aerobic conditions for a specific mean cell residence time (i.e., solids retention time) at a specific temperature. Values for the mean cell residence time and temperature shall be between 40 days at 20°C (68°F) and 60 days at 15°C (59°F). Sewage sludge is dried on sand beds or on paved or unpaved basins. The sewage sludge dries for a minimum of 3 months. During 2 of the 3 months, the ambient average daily temperature is above 0°C (32°F). Sewage sludge is treated in the absence of air for a specific mean cell residence time (i.e., solids retention time) at a specific temperature. Values for the mean cell residence time and temperature shall be between 15 days at 35°C to 55°C (131°F) and 60 days at 20°C (68°F). Using either the within-vessel, static aerated pile, or windrow composting methods, the temperature of the sewage sludge is raised to 40°C (104°F) or higher and remains at 40°C (104°F) or higher for 5 days. For 4 hours during the 5-day period, the temperature in the compost pile exceeds 55°C (131°F). Sufficient lime is added to the sewage sludge to raise the pH of the sewage sludge to 12 for $2 hours of contact.

2. Air Drying

3. Anaerobic Digestion

4. Composting

5. Lime Stabilization


Table - 2. Processes to Further Reduce Pathogens (PFRPs)


Using either the within-vessel composting method or the static aerated pile composting method, the temperature of sewage sludge is maintained at 55°C (131°F) or higher for 3 consecutive days. Using the windrow composting method, the temperature of the sewage sludge is maintained at 55°C (131°F) or higher for 15 consecutive days or longer. During the period when the compost is maintained at 55°C (131°F) or higher, there shall be a minimum of five turnings of the windrow. Sewage sludge is dried by direct or indirect contact with hot gases to reduce the moisture content of the sewage sludge to 10% or lower. Either the temperature of the sewage sludge particles exceeds 80°C (176°F) or the wet bulb temperature of the gas in contact with the sewage sludge as the sewage sludge leaves the dryer exceeds 80°C (176°F). Liquid sewage sludge is heated to a temperature of 180°C (356°F) or higher for 30 minutes. Liquid sewage sludge is agitated with air or oxygen to maintain aerobic conditions and the mean cell residence time (i.e., the solids retention time) of the sewage sludge is 10 days at 55°C (131°F) to 60°C (140°F). Sewage sludge is irradiated with beta rays from an electron accelerator at dosages of at least 1.0 megarad at room temperature (ca. 20°C [68°F]). Sewage sludge is irradiated with gamma rays from certain isotopes, such as Cobalt 60 and Cesium 137,at dosages of at least 1.0 megarad at room temperature (ca. 20°C [68°F]). The temperature of the sewage sludge is maintained at 70°C (158°F) or higher for 30 minutes or longer.

Heat Drying

Heat Treatment Thermophilic Aerobic Digestion

Beta Ray Irradiation Gamma Ray Irradiation



Table - 3. Vector Attraction Reduction Options
Requirement Option 1 503.33(b)(1) Option 2 503.33(b)(2) Less than 17% additional volatile solids loss during benchscale anaerobic batch digestion of the sewage sludge for 40 additional days at 30°C to 37°C (86°F to 99°F) Option 3 503.33(b)(3) Less than 15% additional volatile solids reduction during bench-scale aerobic batch digestion for 30 additional days at 20°C (68°F) Only for aerobically digested liquid sewage sludge with 2% or less solids that cannot meet the requirements of Option 1 - e.g., sewage sludges treated in extended aeration plants. Sludges with 2% solids must be diluted. Liquid sewage sludges from aerobic processes run at temperatures between 10 to 30°C (should not be used for composted sewage sludges). Composted sewage sludge (Options 3 and 4 are likely to be easier to meet for sewage sludges from other aerobic processes) Alkali-treated sewage sludge (alkaline materials include lime, fly ash, kiln dust, and wood ash) Sewage sludge’s treated by an aerobic or anaerobic process (i.e., sewage sludges that do not contain unstabilized solids generated in primary wastewater treatment) Sewage sludges that contain unstabilized solids generated in primary wastewater treatment (e.g., heatdried sewage sludges Sewage sludge applied to the land or placed on a surface disposal site. Domestic septage applied to agricultural land, a forest, or a reclamation site, or placed on a surface disposal site Sewage sludge applied to the land or placed on a surface disposal site. Domestic septage applied to agricultural land, forest, or a reclamation site, or placed on a surface disposal site What Is Required? At least 38% reduction in volatile solids during sewage sludge treatment Most Appropriate For: Sewage sludge processed by: Anaerobic biological treatment Aerobic biological treatment Only for anaerobically digested sewage sludge that cannot meet the requirements of Option 1

Option 4 503.33(b)(4) Option 5 503.33(b)(5) Option 6 503.33(b)(6) Option 7 503.33(b)(7)

SOUR at 20°C (68°F) is #1.5 mg oxygen/hr/g total sewage sludge solids Aerobic treatment of the sewage sludge for at least 14 days at over 40°C (104°F) with an average temperature of over 45°C (113°F) Addition of sufficient alkali to raise the pH to at least 12 at 25°C (77°F) and maintain a pH $12 for 2 hours and a pH $11.5 for 22 more hours Percent solids $75% prior to mixing with other materials

Option 8 503.33(b)(8) Option 9 503.33(b)(9)

Percent solids $90% prior to mixing with other materials Sewage sludge is injected into soil so that no significant amount of sewage sludge is present on the land surface 1 hour after injection, except Class A sewage sludge which must be injected within 8 hours after the pathogen reduction process. Sewage sludge is incorporated into the soil within 6 hours after application to land or placement on a surface disposal site, except Class A sewage sludge which must be applied to or placed on the land surface within 8 hours after the pathogen reduction process. Sewage sludge placed on a surface disposal site must be covered with soil or other material at the end of each operating day. pH of domestic septage must be raised to $12 at 25°C (77°F) by alkali addition and maintained at $12 for 30 minutes without adding more alkali.

Option 10 503.33(b)(10)

Option 11 503.33(b)(11) Option 12 503.33(b)(12)

Sewage sludge or domestic septage placed on a surface disposal site Domestic septage applied to agricultural land, a forest, or a reclamation site or placed on a surface disposal site


The vectors would be things like flies, rodents, and birds that might carry the biosolids and anything in them to areas where people may potentially contract a lingering pathogenic organism. This is not a concern when proper pathogen reduction and vector attraction reduction methods are combined. The correct combination provides a good suitable soil amendment product. In summary, biosolids that are generated from domestic wastewater may be unsuitable for land application or treated to different levels of suitability for land application. The wastewater treatment facility has the option of treatment. In Florida, Class A and Class AA biosolids are the highest levels requiring few biosolids use restrictions while Class B is a good product that has more restrictions on use since it is generated from a process that may allow some pathogens to exist in the product for a time. It should be noted that even with Class B biosolids, the EPA and the State of Florida have determined that when the appropriate restrictions are followed the biosolids used for land application will be as safe as possible. The EPA uses different names for the biosolids products generated by the different levels of treatment, while in Florida the products are different classes generated from EPA approved processes. One other thing to keep in mind is that biosolids may be of two basic types in addition to the level of treatment. Biosolids may be liquid or cake. Cake biosolids are those that have been dewatered to the point of retaining at least twelve percent solids and less than eighty eight percent liquid. Liquid biosolids are often extremely watery and must be transported in a vehicle that will contain the liquid. Cake biosolids more closely resemble soil in some form. Depending on the amount of dewatering the biosolids will range from a swampy watery texture to a dry crusty soil consistency. Cake biosolids may be transported in a vehicle like a dump truck. Remember that biosolids may be produced in different forms and variations. Whatever the class or type, the biosolids product must be generated with approved EPA processes that create a soil amendment product appropriate for land application. It should be noted that treatment of biosolids may add significant costs…costs that must be born either by the generator of the wastes (the utility customer) or the end user of the biosolids product. The utility has the responsibility of striking an appropriate


balance when expending monies, ensuring that treatment decisions are both fiscally prudent and protective of public health.


What rules? At the national level the rules created for governing the proper treatment and use of the treated solid component of domestic wastewater are called Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 503. They are commonly referred to as 503 and the solids generated in domestic wastewater treatment are called biosolids. The State of Florida has adopted rules pertaining to residuals or biosolids. They are called the Chapter 62-640, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) (F.A.C. 62-640 or commonly 640). In this set of rules biosolids are clearly defined. The 2006 Florida definition of biosolids is that ‘“Residuals” or “domestic wastewater residuals” means the solid, semisolid, or liquid residue generated during the treatment of domestic wastewater in a domestic wastewater treatment facility. Not included are solids removed from pump stations and lift stations, screenings and grit removed from the preliminary treatment components of domestic wastewater treatment facilities, other solids as defined in Rule 62-640.200(24), F.A.C., and ash generated during the incineration of biosolids.’ Occasionally in Florida there is an additional level of regulation at the county level. When descending from the Federal level down to the potential county level each lower level of regulation must be as stringent or more stringent than the level above it. In this manner the rules are tailored to the specific needs of each lower regulatory level down to the desired local level. It is possible that even a city may enact biosolids rules. Biosolids generation and use as a beneficial soil amendment is therefore conducted under the auspices of distinct rules intended to ensure public health and environmental protection. Science, industry, technology, agriculture, political entities, the public, and others have combined to ensure that public health and the environment are protected while this product is being generated and used. The combined interested parties or


stakeholders created the regulations that ensure the wise reuse of the treated domestic wastewater solids. This rule making process adapts to the times as we go into the future.

Good for soil amendment?
People and botanicals need many of the same nutrients. The nutrients that people discard from their physiological activities are present in the domestic wastewater stream and subsequently available in the generated solid component or sludge. Beneficial recycling of the biosolids in the State of Florida is carried out by the biosolids being used as an agricultural soil amendment (fertilizer). Use is for the benefit of the crops being grown whether citrus, trees, grass, or some other crop. Since the biosolids have a wealth of nutrients, places like ranches, citrus groves, sod farms, and other agricultural endeavors welcome the fertilizer product. In addition to the highly desired crop nutrients present in the biosolids there is a colloidal nature to the product that is especially helpful in Florida. The sandy soils of Florida allow water loaded with nutrients to pass through the root zone quickly and lose available nutrients that are readily washed out of the root zone. The colloidal nature of biosolids means that the biosolids act like a sponge or gelatin like substance that holds moisture and nutrients longer in the root zone increasing the availability of the nutrients to the crops. A chemical fertilizer will not usually have any colloidal element added to its mixture and that makes the biosolids all the more desirable. Historical Perspective On Domestic Wastewater Solids Depending on where on the planet Earth you hail from as well as from what time period, people have dealt with the disposal and use of the solid wastewater component in different ways. For example, in the past for thousands of years it was common in the Orient for people to


use raw untreated domestic waste solids as fertilizer for rice paddies. Then and there the name for the untreated domestic solids was “night soil.” It was called that because some people went around the neighborhood at night collecting the material from people’s chamber pots. India with its caste system called individuals involved with night soil work “untouchables”. In ancient Rome the domestic wastewater including the solids was often flushed into the nearest river. In Rome that meant that the Tiber River received the wastes. All of the wastes were then washed downstream to the Mediterranean. Another historical approach to the domestic wastewater solid disposal use closer to home and our present time was the use of the outhouse. Basically any crude or elaborate structure that had four walls, a roof, and a seat over a hole in the ground was suitable for the application of the untreated domestic solid wastes to the ground. If the structure was moved the hole was simply filled in. That is, if it was not first shoveled out and the material taken for whatever purpose the person doing the digging desired. As a common practice the outhouse was around for many years. They still exist today as a rustic historically reminiscent option. As a child I can remember my grandfather’s home where there was a “two seater” outhouse located in his home’s large attached woodshed in Ellsworth, Maine. Of course, septic tank systems were and remain a popular alternative. In any event, the disposal of the solids component of domestic wastewater has been a concern of people as long as people have existed. People have used many imaginative ways for the disposal of the domestic wastewater solid component from no treatment and use to elaborate fertilizer applications of the product. In the recent past Florida has seen many changes in biosolids treatment and use. The advent of and widespread use of wastewater treatment facilities has helped ensure consistency in the approach to treating domestic wastewater. About twenty years ago it was possible for anyone to go to a sewage treatment plant and remove a quantity of dubiously stabilized (treated) sludge from the facility and take it to their home for whatever fertilizer application purposes they desired. Biosolids, food service sludge and septage could be stabilized with lime added in a truck on the way to the land application


fields. When I started working with biosolids for the Department, FDEP, I can remember those trucks, many of which often had the same bags of lime sitting on them for lengthy periods of time. Historically, land application of biosolids as a soil amendment was a primary way of disposing of biosolids in a productive manner. Land application of biosolids as a soil amendment was widespread for all treated wastewater treatment facility solids. Stabilization or treatment of the domestic wastewater solids and site restrictions were less restrictive in general. The Florida rule governing biosolids was rudimentary and called F.A.C. 17-7. It was at least a start towards adequate regulation. Florida greatly improved on that rule when on March 1,1991 Chapter 62-640 (Domestic Wastewater Biosolids) became effective. On February 19,1993 the EPA published Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations [CFR], Part 503. It was The Standards for the Use or Disposal of Sewage Sludge. The State of Florida revised its 62-640 rule and on March 30,1998 the revised F.A.C. Chapter 62-640 became effective. As the times changed people’s knowledge and understanding of biosolids changed. People, science, technology, and the political climate have changed and the rules have needed adjustment. Biosolids rules like all rules are subject to the needs of society and are in a continuous adaptive state. Increasing population pressures on the State of Florida are today becoming a major factor in dictating the rules necessary for biosolids. More people means less available historical land for recycling and reuse, while at the same time more people ensures an increase in the amount of biosolids being generated. The biosolids rules have and will continue to adapt and reflect the changes. Since land application has been a viable historical option for Florida, the population pressures are necessitating obvious changes in the recycling of biosolids. First and foremost the land will not be there for application of biosolids as a soil amendment. Other uses and better treatment will be in the future. As of 2006 the Department is changing its biosolids rule. Issues! We got issues! As I began this section I mentioned that the mere thought of anything remotely related to the topic of treated domestic wastewater solids instantly instills fear, anger, panic, bewilderment, or other emotions in people. Mainly, that is because most people do


not really understand biosolids and people are afraid of the unknown. I started out in the biosolids business as FDEP District Biosolids Coordinator with pretty much the same perspective as everyone else. The difference is that the more I learned, the more I began to appreciate the beneficial recycling aspects of the product. I am a convert. Others are and some are not, remaining adamantly opposed to biosolids use. There are of course people in between running the gamut of stances on the subject. I have seen biosolids used as a wonderful soil amendment. The fertilizer properties of biosolids do amazing things for the crops. As time goes by I keep an open mind and try to keep up with the latest biosolids information. I am a scientist as well as an educator. I understand the perspectives of the “nay sayers” and certainly respect their views. This subject is one that finds few people unable to choose a point of view! Often emotional responses are the normal reactions to the idea of beneficial use of biosolids for land application or any other use one could think of for such a product. This is perhaps because it is unfortunate that people all too frequently discover biosolids recycling by accident rather than by education. Land application in their area or trucks traveling the roads with biosolids may be their first encounter. Truck traffic or an odor that catches their attention may initiate an inquiry on their part. The first encounter may concern the person enough to expand their interest or questions to such areas as health and drinking water. Lacking an understanding of biosolids from a cradle to grave perspective may therefore cause people to become alarmed at this new bizarre unknown product. Education could have mediated this reaction. After all, everyone knows that “once a toilet is flushed everything flushed magically disappears forever.” If people were first presented with a good basic understanding of biosolids from the source to the generation of the finished fertilizer product and then allowed as informed citizens to make up their minds many more people would accept the beneficial value of recycling biosolids. The alternative practice of taking biosolids to landfills is scarcely beneficial in the use of that space or for a positive return to the environment. I have often observed people respond positively when they were educated about biosolids. Some people will maintain a negative view, but at least people who are educated have a better basic foundation from which to make their choice of response. Issues also range from individuals to the municipal or government level. At the individual


level people are concerned for themselves and their families. At the governmental level there is concern for treatment, disposal, and regulations that ensure that everything and everyone is protected including the public health and the environment. Trucking companies that transport the biosolids for further treatment or to the land application site or even to the landfill struggle to conduct their business successfully with respect to regulation and profit for their companies. The media is readily available to investigate and present thought provoking issues about biosolids. At any level and from innumerable perspectives biosolids present a plethora of issues. Odors, truck traffic, health, ground water, land owner rights, worker safety, crop health, cattle grazing, and others are all issues that may be associated with the generation and use of biosolids. Education through this infusion unit will allow students to begin to not only learn about biosolids, but also how biosolids issues impact their own lives.


The Future
One thing is certain! Nothing is forever in the biosolids industry. Change is the only constant. Over the years the biosolids industry has progressed from producing a scarcely treated product to an industry capable of producing a product that anyone could safely use in their home. The source of all biosolids, the human population, continues to increase in size. From the perspective of the biosolids industry that population growth means that more people will generate more biosolids. Subsequently, biosolids beneficial reuse and recycling methods and land application practices will need to adapt keeping pace with the population growth. More people need more space to live and that means less available land for biosolids land application activities. Currently, biosolids at the lowest level suitable for land application in Florida (Florida Class B) that have restrictions for land application use (including restricted public access) are finding available land more difficult to locate. The Florida industry will of necessity continue to change to one producing and utilizing biosolids suitable for unrestricted public access (Class A or Class AA). The unrestricted public access biosolids may be used on playgrounds, hospital grounds and other areas where there is frequent public contact with the land applied biosolids. As the amount of land available for restricted biosolids land application diminishes, biosolids products will need to be those that are treated to a level that poses minimal risks to the public and the environment. Please note that life is not risk free! The biosolids industry will continue to develop new treatment methods and biosolids products that will progressively pose as little risk as possible to the public health and environment. Science and technology ceaselessly work to develop new and improved biosolids knowledge, biosolids treatment methods, and biosolids reuse and recycling products. The industry constantly changes. It is a dynamic one always in progressive motion into the future. Government regulation parallels that biosolids industry change and motion. Government will continue to work closely with the biosolids industry to ensure protection of public health and the environment. 17

A most important change needed for the future biosolids industry is education. People must become better informed about biosolids. Much like death and taxes, biosolids are unavoidable and do not magically disappear when you wish on a star. Teachers are an important key component for the future. Educators can provide a knowledge and attitudinal base that helps students make informed decisions on the roles they wish to play in the dynamics of the biosolids issues. Student biosolids education provides one of the best chances we as a citizenry have for the appropriate reuse and recycling of the valuable renewable biosolids resources. The sky really is the limit on how we choose to best cope with biosolids. Let’s educate our student population about biosolids!




Teacher Activities Note
It is hoped that as an educator you will first present your students with a background of biosolids and their associated issues. The Teacher Background Section should provide enough basic information that can in whole or in part be imparted to your students. Additional teacher research into the subject is encouraged. With a brief focused student biosolids background, the Teacher Activities may then be successfully conducted. It is intended that you utilize the activities by adapting them to your curriculum subject area and students needs. The activities are an inspirational starting point and not the definitive end. They will help infuse biosolids education into all aspects of the student curricula. Please adapt and conduct them using your best professional judgment.




Activity: Biosolids Around the World
Subject Areas: World Geography, History, Political Science, Computer Science, Environmental Science. Behavioral Objectives: 1) The students will evaluate the historical and current ways that domestic wastewater is “treated” in another country. Biosolids will be the focus. 2) The students will describe at least one domestic wastewater treatment process or biosolids product used by a foreign country. 3) The students will evaluate the foreign country’s domestic wastewater treatment and compare it with treatment in the United States.

Activity : The United States is one of many countries around the world. Tell the students that they are going to research how other countries handle biosolids. As not all countries have the resources and technology of this country, inform the students that they may not be able to simply use biosolids as the point of study but should expand the research to include how domestic waste is treated. Some countries may not even have basic treatment. The computer will be a prime source of the research activities as the Internet will give the students access to the world. The students should choose a country that interests them and then proceed to find out as much as they can about that country’s domestic waste treatment, rules, and use of the associated treated solids. They should compare and contrast the foreign country with the U.S. in a report format of some sort. Whether in a written report, an oral report, or a pictorial collage the students should communicate their research findings to the rest of the class. Inform the students that key words like domestic, wastewater, sludge, biosolids, sewage, effluent, sewer, human, excrement, feces, and combinations of those words and others may be necessary to discover the information about the country’s way of handling people’s domestic wastes.


Evaluation Options: 1. Quantitative measurement of the reports that the students generate for the number of comparisons and contrasts that the students show between the U.S. and the foreign country. 2. Qualitative evaluation of the reports by peer evaluation or possibly teacher evaluation of the students’ research efforts. 3. Mastery evaluation of the reports is accomplished when the student has completed the report with the foreign country’s efforts compared and contrasted with those efforts of this country. FCAT Standards
HE.A 1.3.5, LA.A.1.3.3, LA.A.1.3.4, LA.A.2.3.4, LA.A.2.3.5, LA.A.2.3.6, LA.B.1.3.1, LA.B.1.3.2, LA.B.1.3.3, LA.B.2.3.1, LA.B.2.3.3, LA.B.2.3.4, LA.D.1.3.3, LA.D.2.3.2, LA.D.2.3.4, LA.D.2.3.5, LA.D.2.3.6, SS.A.5.3.3, SS.A.6.3.2, SS.B.2.3.2, SS.B.2.3.3, SS.B.2.3.5, SS.B.2.3.6, SS.B.2.3.8, SS.B.2.3.9, SS.B.1.3.1, SS.B.1.3.2, SS.C.1.3.2, SS.C.1.3.5, SS.C.1.3.6, SS.D.1.3.1, SS.D.1.3.2, SS.D.1.3.4, SS.D.2.3.1, SS.D.2.3.2, SS.G.1.3.4, SS.G.2.3.4, SS.H.1.3.6, SS.H.2.3.1, SS.H.3.3.1, SC.0.2.1, SC.G.2.1, SC.H.1.1, SC.G.1.1, SC.H.3.1, SC.D.2.2, SC.G.1.2, SC.H.3.2, SC.G.2.2, SC.D.2.3, SC.G.2.3, SC.H.3.3, SC.D.2.4, SC.G.2.4, SC.H.3.4


Activity: Rule Making
Subject Areas: Government, English, Environmental Science, Civics, History, Computer Science. Behavioral Objectives: 1) The students will practice the politics involved in rule making. 2) The students will identify the factors involved in rule making decisions. 3) The students will generate biosolids rules and compare them with the current biosolids rules. Activity: Begin the class by telling the students what biosolids are and how they are produced. Then ask them if there should be any rules for the land application and use of the biosolids products as agricultural soil amendments (fertilizers). When the students respond that of course there should be some rules, have them decide who should make the rules. Guide them into realizing that there are often many interested parties involved in rule making and different agencies at the federal, state, and local level might be involved. Inform them that they will be approaching a fictitious governing body with an agency that will regulate rules concerning biosolids. Separate the class into groups representing the different interests involved in the biosolids issue. This would include homeowners, domestic wastewater facilities, land owners such as cattle ranchers, biosolids land application companies, scientists, engineers, developers, and so on. Decide on how many different groups, but ensure that at least several groups likely to have opposing positions on the issue of land application are involved. Next, have the students discuss, decide, and 25

record what they would like to see made into rules to ensure that biosolids land application activities are beneficial and not detrimental. Remind them that rules can be extensive and specific or broad and general. For example, a general rule would be one that addressed the weather during land application. An example of a specific detailed rule would be one that states how much Nitrogen may be applied to each acre used for land application during the year. They may be as specific or as general as they wish. Reconvene the class and then have a spokesperson for each group reveal what rules they would like to see enacted for their interests. Let the class discuss the potential rules and then vote on what rules should be passed. At this point assign the students the task of reading F.A.C. 62-640 which is the State of Florida Rule regulating the use of Biosolids. Have the students compare and contrast what is in the Florida Rule with the class biosolids rule. Have the class discuss the similarities and differences. Lastly, discuss with the students that rule making is a continual process and all rules may be revised, expanded, or limited as time goes by. For example, input from any lobbying group may be politically sufficient to obtain a review and revision of the rules. Evaluation options: 1. 2. 3. Quantitative evaluation of the students on a quiz. Qualitative grading of class participation. Mastery evaluation by each student successfully listing at least five things regulated in F.A.C. 62-640. FCAT Standards

LA.A.1.3.1, LA.A.1.3.2, LA.A.1.3.3, LA.A.2.3.1, LA.A.2.3.3, LA.A.2.3.5, LA.A.2.3.6, LA.A.2.3.8, LA.B.1.3.2, LA.C.1.3.1, LA.C.1.3.4, LA.C.1.3.3, SS.C.1.3.2, SS.C.1.3.3, SS.C.1.3.4, SS.C.1.3.5, SS.C.1.3.6, SS.C.2.3.6, SS.C.2.3.7, SC.D.1.3.2, SC.D.1.3.4, AC.D.2.3.2, SC.F.1.3.1, SC.G.1.3.4, SC.G.2.3.4, SC.H.1.3.6, SC.H.2.3, SC.H.3.3.1, SC.D.2.1, SC.G.2.1, SC.H.3.1, SC.D.2.2,SC.H.3.2, SC.G.2.2, SC.D.2.3, SC.G.2.3, SC.H.3.3, SC.0.2.4, SC.G.2.4, SC.H.3.4


Activity: Biosolids Land Application Site Diorama
Subject Areas: Geography, Art, Government, Mathematics, Environmental Science. Behavioral Objectives: 1) The students will comprehend and apply land application rules used to operate a biosolids agricultural land application site. 2) The students will develop problem-solving skills by constructing a model of a biosolids site that incorporates the agricultural land application biosolids rules. 3) The students will appreciate the agricultural and biosolids work conducted on a biosolids land application site. Activity : Inform the class that they will be building a diorama. The diorama will be one of a biosolids agricultural land application site. Explain what biosolids are and how they are treated to become a soil amendment or fertilizer. Tell them that the government has determined that agricultural land application can be beneficial for the crops. The government at the federal, state, and often local level has established rules for land application with rules like setbacks from features found on the sites to help protect people and the environment. In Florida these sites are most commonly cattle ranches, sod farms, and citrus groves. As research for the project the students may read the Florida Administrative Code 62-640, especially those sections pertaining to site use restrictions and land application setback distances. These sections will explain the setback distances required from such things as buildings, wells, and water bodies. If the students are of a reading level that cannot easily understand the rule language, the teacher may want to simply explain some of the rules and list the rules for setbacks emphasizing that the government has determined that land application of this type of biosolids must be done with certain distances from various features on a site to protect the public health and the 27

environment. Further explain that when building the diorama the students are going to think of a way to represent the rule setbacks on the diorama. This may be easily done by using magic markers to represent the setback distances. Further student research involves having the students discover what geographical features are on a site that they may want to include in the diorama. Examples of site features would be rancher homes, subdivision neighbor homes, fields of grass, citrus trees, streams, irrigation or drainage ditches, ponds, streams, wells, sink holes, roads, wetlands, barns, commercial buildings, woods, railroad lines, bridges, silos, roadside stands, golf courses, playgrounds, hospitals, and others that they may wish to use. The diorama may be one large class project that can be put on display for the school or individual ones that also might be displayed. They are to build their diorama that represents the agricultural activities that they choose to include. Rule setbacks will be demonstrated so that any observer may easily see them. People should be able to understand that while the beneficial reuse of biosolids is occurring by soil amendment as land applied fertilizer there are safeguards to protect people and the environment. The size of the diorama should be decided initially as that will dictate what materials will be needed for construction. For example, if individual dioramas are to be built, then cardboard boxes cut down to size may be used. If a single large class one is to be constructed, then a piece of plywood might better serve as a foundation. In either case the diorama construction materials for the biosolids sites may be such items as green paper for grass, construction paper buildings, blue paper for water, toothpick fences, Popsicle stick wells, plastic animal toys, old discarded artificial plant parts for trees, and whatever the students creative minds can conceive of for use in building the diorama. Allow the students imaginations to roam freely to create and build using what they want to use. The activity should be fun to construct as well as informative upon completion.


Evaluation Options: 1. Quantitative evaluation by awarding points for students bringing construction materials needed for the diorama in to class. 2. Qualitative evaluation by observing the level of participation of each student during the research and development phases of the diorama. 4. Mastery evaluation by assigning each student tasks during the diorama development and construction phases and noting their successful completion of those assigned tasks. FCAT Standards
SC.D.1.3.2, SC.D.1.3.4, SC.F.1.3.1, SC.G.1.3.4, SC.G.2.3.4, SC.D.2.3.1, LA.C.1.3.1, LA.C.1.3.4, SS.A.1.3.1, SS.A.6.3.5, SS.B.1.3.1, SS.B.1.3.2, SS.B.2.3.4, SS.B.2.3.6, SS.B.2.3.9, SS.C.1.3.2, SS.C.1.3.4, SS.C.1.3.5, SS.C.1.3.6 SS.C.2.3.1, SS.C.2.3.2, SS.C.2.3.3, SS.C.2.3.4, SS.C.2.3.7, SC.D.2.1, SC.G.2.1, SC.H.3.1, SC.D.2.2, SC.H.3.2, SC.G.2.2, SC.D.2.3, SC.G.2.3, SC.H.3.3, SC.D.2.4, SC.G.2.4, SC.H.3.4, SC.H.1.2




Activity: Biosolids Town Meeting
Subject Areas: Drama, Government, Civics, History, Home Economics, Computer Science, Environmental Science. Behavioral Objectives: 1) The students will acquire a positive personal value system concerning the public forum for resolving biosolids issues. 2) The students will identify and demonstrate research skills used for successful choices on biosolids issues so that they can not only formulate an opinion but also speak out in its defense. 3) The students will apply their people skills. Activity: Announce that the class is going to have a town meeting. Discuss what a town meeting is. If needed, have them research the political concept of a town meeting as a small local governmental unit that addresses individual people’s concerns where everyone may contribute to the decision making process. Inform the students that the town meeting is going to have a specific topic. That topic will be biosolids agricultural land application activities in the community. Have them research what biosolids are as well as what agricultural land application activities entail. To direct the research, guide them to the EPA and State of Florida biosolids/residuals websites. Briefly discuss what biosolids/residuals or sewage treatment facility sludge products are and what land spreading of the fertilizer product (biosolids) involves. Next assign students to portray different stakeholders in the town. With flexibility appoint a couple of town council people, a town manager, a few farmers or ranchers that will have the working biosolids land application sites, some people who 31

live in close proximity to the future land application sites, some residents who live farther away from the site but might be located on roads the biosolids traffic will use, some wastewater treatment staff, biosolids haulers that transport and often land apply the biosolids to the application sites, other governmental agencies such as the EPA, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and local county officials, news media representatives, and anyone else that might have a stake in the land application of biosolids. Use as many or as few individuals as you wish to assign. Tell the designated people that they are going to need to carefully research their positions on the issue of land application. Some people will be opposed to the use of biosolids and they need to be able to clearly present why they are opposed. Others will be in favor of the beneficial use of biosolids and will need to be able to demonstrate clearly why they think residual agricultural land application activities are beneficial to the community. There are many issues to consider; such as the environment, public health, property value and use, odors, expenses involved such as domestic wastewater treatment, disposal costs of the biosolids, road costs, transport costs, rancher or farmer operation costs, and any other expenses involved in any perspective taken on the issue of biosolids land application. Whatever their portrayal position, the students will need to be well versed in their roles. The town meeting will commence with the town manager acting as moderator and guiding the discussion. Students will recognize proper rules of meeting conduct ensuring no abusive, improper, or inappropriate language or behavior occurs, and everyone shall treat everyone else with respect no matter how much they might disagree. The students will speak, when recognized by the moderator, giving their opinions and viewpoints. The discussion shall continue as long as needed to ensure people have had a chance to speak as often and as thoroughly as necessary. Rebuttals, points and counterpoints will help the discussion continue to an end point that the teacher will announce. After the discussion portion the class should compile the information with a vote for or against land application. A vote can be taken with a show of hands. After the vote count is announced the students should then be guided in a discussion of the potential ramifications of the vote. They should recognize that whatever they voted for at the town level has to be in compliance with other governmental rules. For example, should the students vote against


land application, they need to know that the State and EPA allow land application and possibly their vote would not hold up in court. They might need to pass a local ordinance concerning biosolids land application that would be more stringent than the State and EPA regulations. Discuss the complications and ramifications of government at all levels while stressing that even at the town meeting level of government it is of great value to society for everyone to actively participate. Evaluation Options: 1. Quantitative evaluation by grading a student’s descriptive writing assignment for each of the assigned portrayal roles. 2. Qualitative evaluation of the student’s active participation in their town meeting roles. 3. Mastery evaluation by the students successfully writing a brief summary of the meeting in terms of what a town meeting means to them personally. FCAT Standards
SC.D.1.3.2, SC.D.1.3.3, SC.D.1.3.4, SC.D.2.3.1, SC.D.2.3.2, SC.G.1.3.4, SC.G.2.3.4, SS.A.1.3.1, SS.A.6.3.2, SS.A.6.3.3, SS.B.1.3.1, SS.B.1.3.2, SS.B.1.3.3, SS.B.1.3.4, SS.B.1.3.6, SS.B.1.3.7, SS.B.2.3.3, SS.B.2.3.4, SS.B.2.3.9, SS.C.1.3.2, SS.C.1.3.3, SS.C.1.3.4, SS.C.1.3.5, SS.C.1.3.6, SS.C.2.3.1, SS.C.2.3.2, SS.C.2.3.3, SS.C.2.3.6, SS.C.2.3.7, LA.A.1.3.1, LA.A.1.3.2, LA.A.1.3.3, LA.A.2.3.5, LA.B.2.3.1, LA.B.1.3.3, LA.B.2.3.3, LA.C.1.3.1, SC.D.2.1, SC.G.2.1, SC.H.3.1, SC.D.2.2, SC.H.3.2, SC.G.2.2, SC.D.2.3, SC.G.2.3, SC.H.3.3, SC.D.2.4, SC.G.2.4, SC.H.3.4




Activity: Letter Writing
Subject Areas: English, Home Economics, Computer Science, Earth Science, Environmental Science. Behavioral Objectives: 1) The students will apply research techniques for locating appropriate people with an understanding of and the ability to help them with biosolids land application issues. 2) The students will demonstrate a good business letter writing style. 3) The students will appreciate that there are different perspectives on issues such as biosolids land application and that they must become better educated about issues in their lives, think carefully about them, and then make informed decisions. Having made informed decisions they can then act constructively on them. Activity : Inform the students that a biosolids hauling company is going to land apply biosolids as a soil amendment to agricultural property in close proximity to their residence or workplace. The potential negative impacts to their lives could be in several ways. For instance, increased truck traffic, possible offensive odors, increased vectors such as flies, birds, or rodents, possible personal drinking well water impacts, potential surface water impacts, and more. The potential positive impacts could be better crops, lower sewer utility fees, less impact to land fills for disposal, less water needed for irrigation, and more. They are to research biosolids and the names and addresses of people that may be able to help ensure that the land spreading activities are properly conducted and that there will be no adverse impact on their lives. They could research biosolids under sewage treatment sludge, residuals, or biosolids. The names of state, county, and local government officials, news media, biosolids hauling companies, and other people that may have some authority or ability to help with the situation will provide them with


contacts for their letters. Remind the students that the letters or emails can range from those openly opposed to all land spreading activities to those seeking only education and affirmation that the land spreading will be legally safely conducted, or even to those who openly favor the use of biosolids as a soil amendment (examples: haulers, land owners, sewage treatment facilities, etc.). The students will draft a business letter to the people that they believe might assist them. Students may be assigned to write against or for land application or simply as an education informational request concerning biosolids land application activities. They should be descriptive in their letters and carefully construct their case. Inform them that they are trying to persuade someone to their viewpoint in a written form and that although they must be thorough and convincing they must also be concise as the people that they write to will have little time for letters, especially one that is a long or offensive rant and rave. It is important that they effectively gain the person’s attention to win that person’s help. Remind them that even when writing a negative stance letter that they must be polite, respectful, and truthful without using instant “turnoffs” such as name calling and threats. The letter should be in a correct business letter writing style with proper grammar and spelling. Once the students have written their letters they could then be read aloud or made available to each other. Remind them that they are not to actually mail the fictitious letters, as the people will believe them to be real. If the class had been assigned both pro and con stances, they could then determine who had made the better case and why. They could provide each other with advice on how to effectively state a point so that you can gain someone’s help for your point of view. Evaluation Options: 1) Quantitative grading of the letters for correctness and creativity. 2) Qualitative grading by student peer review of the letters. 3) Mastery evaluation for successful task completion. FCAT Standards
LA.A.1.3.1, LA.A.1.3.2, LA.A.1.3.3, LA.A.1.3.4, LA.A.2.3.2, LA.A.2.3.4, LA.A.2.3.5, LA.A.2.3.8, LA.B.1.3.1, LA.B.1.3.2, LA.B.1.3.3, LA.B.2.3.1, LA.B.2.3.3, LA.C.1.3.1, LA.C.1.3.3, LA.C.1.3.4, SS.A.6.3.2, SS.A.6.3.3, SS.A.6.3.4, SS.A.6.3.5, SS.B.1.3.6, SS.B.1.3.6, SS.B.1.3.7, SS.B.2.3.6, SS.B.2.3.9, SS.C.1.3.2, SC.G.2.3.4, SC.G.1.3.4, SC.D.2.3.2, SC.D.2.3.1, SC.D.1.3.4, SC.D.1.3.3, SC.D.1.3.2, SS.C.2.3.7, SS.C.2.3.6, SS.C.2.3.5, SS.C.2.3.4, SS.C.2.3.2, SS.C.2.3.1, SS.C.1.3.6, SS.C.1.3.5, SC.0.2.1, SC.G.2.1, SC.H.3.1, SC.D.2.4, SC.G.2.4, SC.H.3.4, SC.D.2.2, SC.H3.2, SC.G.2.2, SC.D.2.3


Activity: Biosolids Growth Experiments
Subject Areas: Biology, Environmental Science, Earth Science, Home Economics, Shop Class, Botany, and Mathematics. Behavioral Objectives: 1) The students will use the scientific method to discover the fertilizer effects of biosolids on plants. 2) The students will identify scientific research skills such as scientific experiment design, observation, record keeping, report writing, and horticultural skills. 3) The students will employ mathematical skills necessary for scientific work. Activity : Begin the class with a question: What makes a good plant fertilizer? Ask them what the components of a good fertilizer are that help ensure that a plant grows. Discuss and delineate the macro and micro nutrient components of fertilizer. The students might do some background research on fertilizer by researching and making homework trips to stores that sell fertilizers and recording the component concentrations of each one. Discuss how historically fertilizers have been both chemical and those derived from animals. Discuss the benefits of recycling as much as possible. Propose a discussion of the wastes of people as a possible source of fertilizers. Remind them of the oriental practice of using untreated human wastes called “nightsoil” as a fertilizer for the rice paddies. Inform the students that for public health and environmental protection this country does not advocate the use of untreated human wastes, but properly treated human wastes changed into soil amendments are encouraged as beneficial recycling products. Refer them to the F.A.C. 62-640 as a guideline for beneficial reuse


and recycling of biosolids. Have them research and understand what Class AA biosolids are and how they are available at many stores. Ask them to design an experiment to demonstrate the differences between chemical and recycled Class AA biosolids as fertilizers. Remind them that they need to follow the scientific method and use control groups as well as experimental groups. Measurement of growth must be conducted and growth conditions monitored. They must initially conduct a background research review before designing the experiments, obtain or construct any growth containers (this could in part be determined by the class this was conducted in), select the plant species to be used (seeds easy to grow and obtained from a local store would be best), chose the fertilizers and growth media to be used (Class AA biosolids such as “GreenEdge® and Milorganite® are also available from a local store and must be used for safety). They must conduct the experiments with suitable control growth plants, measure and record the experiment parameters such as amount of fertilizers used, water addition, and others as well as the growth of the plants, calculate the recorded statistics, draw appropriate conclusions, and write a report with references from their initial research review. This activity could be done individually or as a class project. When conducting the biosolids growth experiments in some of the less scientific oriented classes it may be necessary to modify the activity and focus on other experiment aspects such as the construction of growth containers for shop class or emphasizing a concentration on growing spectacular plants for home economics. In any event ensure that the students are encouraged to think scientifically and discover the effects of biosolids as a soil amendment (fertilizer).


Evaluation options: 1. 2. 3. Quantitative evaluation by grading the students record keeping activities, statistical work, and reports. Qualitative evaluation by observing and recording student individual participation in the experiments. Mastery evaluation by each student completing levels of the project such as helping in the research, constructing growth containers, monitoring and recording the experiment progression, calculating statistics, and producing a report. FCAT Standards
SC.C.1.3.2, SC.D.1.3.4, SC.D.2.3.2, SC.G.1.3.4, SC.G.2.3.4, SS.A.1.3.3, SS.B.2.3.3, SS.B.2.3.6, SS.C.1.3.2, SS.C.1.3.5, MA.B.3.3.1, MA.B.4.3.1, MA.B.4.3.2, MA.E.1.3.1, MA.E.1.3.3, MA.E.3.3.1, LA.A.1.3.1, LA.A.1.3.4, LA.A.2.3.5, LA.A.2.3.6, LA.A.2.3.7, LA.B.1.3.1, LA.B.1.3.2, LA.B.1.3.3, LA.B.2.3.1, LA.C.1.3.1, LA.C.1.3.4, SC.G.2.1, SC.F.1.1, SC.H.1.1, SC.H.2.1, SC.H.3.1, SC.G.1.2, SC.H.3.2, SC.H.1.2, SC.H.2.2, SC.G.2.3, SC.H.1.3, SC.G.1.3, SC.H.2.3, SC.H.3.3, SC.G.2.4, SC.H.1.4, SC.G.1.4, SC.H.2.4, SC.H.3.4




Activity: Map Making
Subject Areas: Earth Science, Art, Geography, History, Environmental Science, Shop, Mathematics, Computer Science. Behavioral Objectives: 1) The students will create maps with observable biosolids rule setback distances showing compliance of biosolids land application sites with rule setbacks. 2) The students will evaluate the time and spatial agricultural property uses of a land application site. 3) The students will display psychomotor skills necessary for creation of a biosolids land application site map. Activity: In this activity the students will use aerial agricultural site maps or possibly fictional maps to understand the compliance issues involved with a farmer or rancher using his property for biosolids land application. Depending on the biosolids class the teacher will need to provide some background information to the students concerning the beneficial use of an agricultural site for biosolids land application with its soil amendment benefits. Different Biosolids have restrictions for use and the maps will show those restrictions. It should be emphasized that the State of Florida has rules for correct land use of different biosolids. Specific sections of Chapter 62640 deal with the setback distances and use required for any site, historically called an Agricultural Use Plan (AUP). A decision needs to be made initially whether the mapping project will be a class one or one of individual participation. In either case the students can use aerial maps provided or ones that they obtain themselves. Inform the students that they are a land application company going to use agricultural property for biosolids land application. They must use a map and create the appropriate setbacks from the biosolids rule. They will create setback areas on the map by some marking method. They will have to locate and accurately mark off the scaled setback distances from each applicable feature such as a well on the maps. The teacher may have to add, highlight, or assist the students with locating the features that require setbacks on the maps. When completed the map should have all setback distances clearly marked in proper scale on the map. When 41

someone reads the map they will easily see where biosolids may or may not be spread according to the setbacks areas outlined on the map. Depending on the class the students may make anything from simple maps to as complex ones as they can imagine. For an art class the finished maps could easily be suitable for framing. Aerial maps of the students’ local school community would make them all the more relevant to each student. Local ranches would show the students the possible use of those sites for biosolids land application as well as possible reasons why a site might not be a good land application one. Discussion of this would help. The students will also see some effects of the pressures of increasing development on biosolids land application site availability. Population growth means more biosolids and less available land for any agricultural application sites. A discussion of this situation will provide the students with an understanding of one of the less visible effects of population growth. Evaluation Options: 1. Quantitative evaluation by grading each student’s map or a quiz designed with a model map that demonstrates a student’s knowledge of the setback requirements. An example would be a 200 foot setback from waters of the State. 2. Qualitative evaluation may be measured by observing the student’s attention to precision when marking off the setback distances on the map. 3. Mastery evaluation is obtained by each student successfully completing the mapping task. FCAT Standards
LA.A.2.3.1, LA.A.1.3.1, LA.A.1.3.3, LA.C.1.3.1, SC.D.1.3.2, SC.D.1.3.3, SC.D.1.3.4, SC.D.2.3.2, SC.G.1.3.4, SC.G.2.3.4, SS.B.1.3.1, SS.B.1.3.2, SS.B.1.3.6, SS.B.2.3.1, SS.B.2.3.4, SS.C.2.3.1, SS.C.2.3.2, SC.D.2.1, SC.G.2.1, SC.H.3.2, SC.G.2.2, SC.H.1.2, SC.D.2.2, SC.D.2.3, SC.G.2.3, SC.D.2.4, SC.G.2.4, SC.G.2.4, SC.D.2.2, SC.D.2.3, SC.G.2.3, SC.G.2.4, SC.H.3.4









Activity: Comparison Shopping
Subject Areas: Home Economics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Earth Science, Botany, Biology. Behavioral Objectives: 1) The students will compare and contrast fertilizer characteristics and costs with biosolids products. 2) The students will organize a survey to obtain the data needed for the comparison study. 3) The students will list fertilizer products by characteristics and cost. Activity : Let the students know that since it is “growing season” year round in Florida that they are going to decide what fertilizer product would be best for their home use. Since there typically exist so many products on the market at so many stores, how would they best determine which products are the best value? When they comment that checking out the store products would be a good way to check, help them organize a survey. First have them research what are the characteristics of a good fertilizer. The nutrient value is of paramount importance as it determines what nutrients will be available for the plants. The Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium values (NP-K) are the macronutrients or the elements needed in the largest quantities by the plants. A good general use home fertilizer could have an NP-K value of 5-10-5. That would be on the fertilizer label. The micronutrient values would also be on the label. These are the elements also needed by plants, but in smaller amounts than the macronutrients. Chemical fertilizers would commonly not have these micronutrient characteristics. Biosolids fertilizers and compost fertilizers would also possess another characteristic that could greatly benefit the plants. That is the humus content. Humus is the dark organic soil component that is made up of decaying organic matter from plants and animals. The value of humus is that humus has compounds that help retain water and water-soluble components in the soil. Chemical fertilizers typically have no humus. Biosolids have compounds that help keep the fertilizer available for the plants in the root zone and not wash out. Biosolids also have many micronutrients needed by the plants for growth. Have the students devise charts and graphs with the above information including, type of fertilizer, weight and cost, so that they may evaluate the fertilizer products. Mention that an added value for biosolids is that it is beneficial recycling of a product whereas


chemical fertilizers have no claim to recycling. Individually or small groups of students will in time gather the data as a homework assignment. The data will be compiled and analyzed to evaluate the fertilizers. Graphs, charts, pie diagrams, and other mathematical statistics will aid the students in the study.

Evaluation Options: 1. Quantitative evaluation may be by a quiz on the characteristics of a fertilizer. 2. Qualitative evaluation may be of the students’ active participation in the activity. 3. Mastery evaluation for completion of the assigned homework gathering of fertilizer data from the stores. FCAT Standards
LA.A.1.3.1, LA.A.1.3.2, LA.A.1.3.3, LA.A.1.3.4, LA.A.2.3.5, LA.A.2.3.6, LA.A.2.3.7, LA.B.1.3.1, SS.D.2.3.1, SS.D.2.3.2, MA.E.1.3.1, MA.E.1.3.3, MA.E.2.3.1, MA.E.3.3.1, SC.D.1.3.2, SC.D.1.3.3, SC.D.1.3.4, SC.D.2.3.1, SC.D.2.3.2, SC.G.1.3.4, SC.G.2.3.4


Activity: Designer Trucks
Subject Areas: Shop, Home Economics, Art, Music, Physics, Crafts. Behavioral Objectives: 1) The students will construct a model truck used in the biosolids industry. 2) The students will demonstrate the psychomotor skills needed to create a biosolids truck. 3) The students will organize the steps from design to completion of a model biosolids truck. Activity: Announce that the students will research the types of trucks used in the biosolids business. Briefly explain what biosolids are and how they are recycled. Tell them that tank trucks, dump trucks, container trucks, spreader trucks, flat bed trucks, and other types of trucks are all used for transport and land application of biosolids. They are to obtain information and details concerning a specific truck of their choice as long as the truck could somehow be used in the biosolids business. They are then going to construct a model of the truck. Depending on the type of class and the student ability level, the students may construct their trucks from many different kinds of media. They may artistically draw, paint, or sculpt a truck. They may construct a model from wood, plastic, or metal. They could even write a song about a truck. The medium will depend on the students and the resources available to them. The students should understand the uses of the trucks in the biosolids industry. Tell them that the first and foremost aspect of the biosolids industry that the public sees and watches is the trucks that are involved in biosolids transport and land application. The trucks and their drivers are like bank tellers. They often are what the public not only first sees but also perceives as the industry. The drivers and their trucks are the biosolids most important public relations experts. Most people never visit a domestic wastewater treatment facility or a biosolids management facility so the biosolids transport and land application activities are all that the public sees of the industry. One should therefore not underestimate the importance of the biosolids trucks and their drivers. The models are a tribute to the hard work that the people driving the trucks do every day as part of the business of beneficially recycling the biosolids.


Evaluation Options:
1. 2. 3. Quantitative evaluation by a quiz on the types and uses of trucks in the biosolids industry. Qualitative evaluation may be a team of teacher judges grading each of the trucks. Mastery evaluation would be attained when each student successfully constructs or creates a biosolids truck. FCAT Standards

SC.D.1.3.2, SC.D.1.3.3, SC.D.1.3.4, SC.D.2.3.2, SC.G.1.3.4, SC.G.2.3.4, LA.A.1.3.1, LA.A.1.3.2, LA.A.1.3.3, SC.H.3.1, SC.H.3.3, SC.D.2.4, SC.H.3.4








Activity: “The Sky’s the Limit” for Biosolids
Subject Areas: Biology, Earth Science, Home Economics, Civics, Art, Environmental Science, Shop, Computer Science, Music. Behavioral Objectives: 1) The students will create a presentation for an industry workshop. 2) The students will describe a new method for generation or use of biosolids. 3) The students will conduct a presentation of the new biosolids method in a workshop. Activity: To prepare the students for the work environment inform them that there is going to be a professional workshop that they will have to attend. It will be one involving the biosolids industry. Let them know that they shall represent a company that has been invited to have a booth with a presentation. Their presentation will be staffed while biosolids seminars are being conducted. There will be no actual seminars, but the presentation booths that would accompany the seminars will be active. They will present their company’s new method for generation or use of biosolids where people will decide if they want to buy each company’s services. In assigned groups the students will research and “invent” a new biosolids treatment process or a new approved use for biosolids products. Their imaginations can run to the realm of science fiction or fact. Place no limit on the students with respect to the process or biosolids use actually working. The intent is to get the students to think and create. New ideas are the goal of their thought processes no matter how “eccentric” the ideas may be. Having done that they will then demonstrate their company’s services (biosolids process or use) in a manner that others may understand their process or product use. Industry professional workshops have seminars and training with company presenters who will use posters, computers, photos, artwork, dioramas, music, actual products, or any other marketing techniques that they can imagine and devise to present their company’s services for sale. The students will develop their company biosolids process or use and then try to “sell” it to the workshop attendees at a class biosolids industry professional workshop. The workshop could even be a school event. The students will make the presentation materials to be used at the workshop. The day of the workshop the students will set up their company booths and staff them. Students will then be allowed to inspect each company booth. Even though there will be no actual seminars or training events, the


students will experience the commercial environment at a workshop. Their imaginative biosolids efforts will be on display and open to peer evaluation. They will comprehend the competitive business world of biosolids. Evaluation Options: 1. Quantitative evaluation may be conducted by grading the booth presentations. 2. Qualitative evaluation may be a presentation peer review by the workshop attendees. 3. Mastery evaluation would be by student’s successfully inventing a new biosolids process or use and creating a presentation that they staff at the workshop. FCAT Standards
LA.A.1.3.1, LA.A.1.3.3, LA.A.2.3.5, LA.A.2.3.6, LA.A.2.3.7, LA.B.1.3.1, LA.B.1.3.3, LA.B.2.3.1, LA.C.3.3.3, LA.D.1.3.3, LA.D.1.3.3, LA.D.2.3.2, LA.D.2.3.4, LA.D.2.3.5, SC.D.1.3.2, SC.D.1.3.3, SC.G.1.3.4, SC.G.2.3.4, SC.D.2.1, SC.G.2.1, SC.H.1.1, SC.H.3.1, SC.D.2.2, SC.G.1.2, SC.H.3.2, SC.G.2.2, SC.H.1.2, SC.H.2.2, SC.H.1.3, SC.G.1.3, SC.H.2.3, SC.H.3.3, SC.D.2.4, SC.G.2.4, SC.H.1.4, SC.G.1.4, SC.H.2.4, SC.H.3.4


Activity: Loading Up
Subject Areas: Mathematics, Environmental Science, Biology, Botany, Earth Science, Computer Science. Behavioral Objectives: 1) Students will calculate the Nitrogen loading rates for a biosolids land application site and how many land application acres are needed for biosolids recycling. 2) Students will distinguish the Nitrogen needs of different crops used at a land application site. 3) Students will create a biosolids land application site nitrogen loading spreadsheet. As an introduction explain and discuss with the students the fact that although the rest of the world and the American scientific communities use metrics, that is not the case in this country. English equivalents are still used and sometimes, as in biosolids, combined with metrics. The students are going to conduct biosolids calculations associated with a land application site. They will use the following equations: APPLICATION RATE GALLONS of BIOSOLIDS/DAY X 8.34 LBS./GALLON X 365 DAYS/YEAR = WET LBS. BIOSOLIDS/YEAR WET LBS. BIOSOLIDS/YEAR X % SOLIDS = DRY LBS. BIOSOLIDS/YEAR

NITROGEN LOADING DRY LBS. BIOSOLIDS/YEAR X % NITROGEN = LBS. NITROGEN/YEAR LBS. NITROGEN/YEAR –(divided by)- ALLOWABLE LBS. NITROGEN/ACRE/YEAR = ACRES REQUIRED EXAMPLE 2%=0.02 NOTE: x (the value for % solids or Nitrogen) = .0x or x (divided by100) 12%=0.12 The teacher or the students may contact local domestic wastewater treatment facilities for appropriate biosolids characteristics. The biosolids percent Nitrogen, amount in gallons


of generated biosolids for the last year, and the percent solids of their biosolids will be needed. The numerical Nitrogen needs of the different crops may be found in Florida Administrative Code 62-640 or the values may be obtained for different crops from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida. Have the students then use either teacher or student specified crops with their associated Nitrogen needs and the domestic facility Nitrogen values, biosolids generated gallons, and percent solids to calculate how many acres would be needed for the facility to land apply their biosolids as a soil amendment based on the crop grown on the field. The students may use different crops on different fields and generate a spreadsheet depicting the crops, acreage, and pounds of nitrogen per acre per year on the field. The majority of biosolids are liquid with percent solids about 1 or 2 percent. Cake biosolids would typically have percent solids of at least 12 %. Example Kane Ranch Biosolids Site Field 1 Bahia grass (improved perennial grass) allowable Nitrogen = 200 lbs/yr Field 2 Forage legumes allowable Nitrogen = 100lbs/yr Field 3 hay or silage (4 harvests) allowable Nitrogen = 400lbs/yr Field 4 St. Augustine grass (improved perennial grass) allowable Nitrogen = 200lbs/yr Field 5 Bahia grass (improved perennial grass) allowable Nitrogen = 200lbs/yr Phil Wastewater Treatment Facility 2005 Biosolids Characteristics: Liquid Biosolids with four biosolids analyses per year % Nitrogen = 5.5, 4.0, 6.1, 5.8 % solids = 1.2, 1.5, 0.9, 2.1 Biosolids Gallons Generated = 280,000 Gallons/Year The students would then calculate how many acres would be needed in each field for biosolids land application. As a math teacher the Nitrogen loading relationships and calculations could easily be adapted to your class needs. The calculations may be approached from whatever direction the teacher deems relevant to the class.


Evaluation Options: 1. Quantitative evaluation could be quiz. 2. Qualitative evaluations by observing student development of the land application spreadsheet. 3. Mastery evaluation by students completing successfully the land application spreadsheet calculations. FCAT Standards
MA.A.1.3.1, MA.A.1.3.4, MA.A.3.3.2, MA.A.3.3.3, MA.B1.3.1, MA.B.1.3.2, MA.B.4.3.1, MA.D.1.3.1, MA.D.1.3.2, MA.D.2.3.1, MA.D.2.3.2, MA.E.1.3.1, LA.B.1.3.1, LA.B.1.3.2, LA.B.1.3.3, LA.B.2.3.4, LA.C.1.3.1, SC.D.1.3.2, SC.D.1.3.3, SC.D.1.3.4, SC.G.1.3.4, SC.D.2.1, SC.B.1.1, SC.G.2.1, SC.B.2.2, SC.B.1.2, SC.D.2.2, SC. H.3.2, SC.G.2.2, SC.H.1.2, SC.D.2.3, SC.D.1.2, SC.0.2.3, SC.D.1.3, SC.G.2.3, SC.H.1.3, SC.H.3.3, SC.D.2.4, SC.G.2.4, SC.H.1.4, SC.H.3.4




Activity: A Residuals Sense of Humor
Subject Areas: English, Art, Government, Civics, Music, Computer Science, Home Economics, Shop, Music, Biology, Environmental Science, Mathematics. Behavioral Objectives: 1) The students will identify components of biosolids issues that can be presented in a humorous way. 2) The students will organize and demonstrate the creative process necessary to create a humor product. 3) The students will create a residuals humor product. Activity: Briefly teach them what residuals are and how they are used. Present the students with a discussion stating that biosolids issues are emotionally charged issues. Inform them people’s reactions range from immediate disgust, fear, and repulsion to wholehearted embrace of the idea of recycling biosolids. The task of the students will then be to identify those aspects of residuals issues that may be translated into some kind of humor. It should most emphatically be stated that under no circumstances is the humor to be blatantly offensive to others. For perspective, the humor should be that which the students could show to the parents and grandparents of their friends! With that in mind some examples of humor are outhouse models or paintings, computer altered photos, cartoons depicting some residuals aspect, a joke possibly similar to one as to why did the chicken cross the road? – to get to the biosolids fertilized grass, a song, or a short story. In an art class a cartoon or a toilet sculpture would be appropriate. In some way the residuals humor should demonstrate biosolids views with a sense of humor. A final example would be a cow cartoon where the cow is posting a sign next to a town. The sign states that no people are allowed for thirty days after the last application of manure. Humorous creative thought interpreting biosolids issues is the goal. After the students have completed the activity the humor may be shown to the class or even the entire school.


Evaluation Options: 1. Quantitative grading of the residuals humor products. 2. Qualitative evaluation could be observation and notes on the creative process. 3. Mastery evaluation would be completed by the successful creation of a residuals humor product. FCAT Standards
SC.D.2.1, SC.G.2.1, SC.H.3.1, SC.D.2.2, SC.G.2.2, SC.D.2.3, SC.G.2.3, SC.H.3.3, SC.D.2.4, SC.G.2.4, SC.H.3.4



The History Channel, Modern Marvels: Bathroom Tech: =&parentcatid=&subcatid= The History Channel, Modern Marvels: Plumbing: The arteries of civilization: Florida Department of Environmental Protection: Residuals…Spread the Wealth Copyright 1997

Roberts Rules of Order, (Newly Revised, 10th Edition)- Copyright 2000: ISBN: 0738203076 by Henry M. Robert III, William J. Evans, Daniel H. Honemann, Thomas J. Balch (Editor) Strunk and White: A Handbook for the New Academic Essay, Third Edition Copyright 2003: ISBN: 0937363200 by Gary Hoffman, Glynis Hoffman The Vanishing American Outhouse Copywrited Material April 10, 2000 ISBN: 0140288686 by Ronald Barlow Biosolids Applied to Land: Advancing Standards and Practices – Copyright 2004 ISBN: 0309084865 by Committee on Toxicants, Pathogens in Biosolids Elements of Cartography –Copyright 1984 ISBN: 0471555797 - by Arthur H. Robinson Big Book of Trucks – Copyright 1999 ISBN: 0789447398 by Caroline Bingham

State of Florida, Department of Environmental Protection


USGS Geography: Viewing USGS Maps and Aerial Photo Images Online The Biosolids Lifecycle Orange County Water Reclamation U.S. Environmental Protection Agency OWM: Biosolids The Beauty of Biosolids

International toilet history Outhouses of America Lynn Wastewater Treatment Plant World History A guide to composting human manure Belt Press Process Flow Alfalfa farmer battles residents over use of bio-solids as fertilizer Ancient History of Plumbing Wastewater Forum Gorham Middle School Mock Townmeeting Milorganite Pest Control


European Commission - Environment UK Sewage Disposal

Florida Water Environment Association National Biosolids Partnership Florida Water and Pollution Control Operators Association Water Environment Federation =6& New England Biosolids and Residuals Association Northwest Biosolids Management Association Florida Water Education Association Utility Council

University of Florida Extension – Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Alabama Cooperative Extension System


University of Florida - IFAS Oregon State University




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