The WEF statement focuses on a comprehensive approach to wastewater treatment and solids management that ensures the recycling and recovery of all associated resources including water, nutrients, organic matter and energy.
“As a natural byproduct of wastewater treatment, WEF recognises that biosolids is a renewable resource that is too valuable to waste given our growing needs for renewable energy and sustainability,” said WEF executive director Jeff Eger. “The adoption of this revised statement reflects WEF’s support of initiatives to ensure an expanded view of wastewater and solids management as well as our commitment to pursue innovation in water quality.”
WEF says that it encourages the use of whatever associated practice is best suited to a community’s economic and technological capabilities. This includes land application, composting, energy generation, product development, landfilling and/or incineration. It also supports the development of multi-agency coordinated regulations that are based on sound research and best practices, advancements, innovation, and development of new technologies, recognition of the expanded role of wastewater and solids management, enhanced sharing of knowledge both within the profession and with other organisations, and continued research.
This position is consistent with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) position and those of other federal agencies, which encourage the beneficial use of biosolids through policies and regulations, including the Clean Water Act.