Frequently Asked Questions:

About Biosolids

Our mission is to provide effective and efficient wastewater and storm water management services, while protecting the environment for this and future generations. 

What else can you do with biosolids?

Biosolids can be used as fertilizers and soil amendments.  But biosolids also produce renewable energy!  Digestion of biosolids produces methane (or “biogas”), which can be converted into heat and electricity.

What happens in Akron?

The City of Akron treats is own wastewater along with the wastewater from several neighboring communities.  The Water Reclamation Facility treats the wastewater and safely returns water back to the environment.  The remaining biosolids are pumped to the Akron Renewable Energy Facility for processing.  

What are biosolids?

Biosolids are primarily organic material that results from the treatment of municipal wastewater (sewage).  This residual material can be recycled in a multitude of ways.  There are many regulatory requirements in place for the proper treatment and use of biosolids.

Are biosolids the same as sludge?

No.  Often times, the terms biosolids and sludge are used interchangeably.   

Biosolids are treated sewage sludge.  Sludge is still mostly water that contains a mix of organic and mineral solids.  Sludge can also contain bacteria.   

Do biosolids smell?

Biosolids do have an odor, which can vary based upon the way it was treated.  Most of the odor is attributed to compounds containing sulfur and ammonia – both of which are plant nutrients! 

Are biosolids safe?

Yes, biosolids have been treated and tested.  There are strict federal and state regulations in place regarding the use of biosolids.  

From the EPA: The National Academy of Sciences has reviewed current practices, public health concerns and regulator standards, and has concluded that "the use of these materials in the production of crops for human consumption when practiced in accordance with existing federal guidelines and regulations, presents negligible risk to the consumer, to crop production and to the environment."

Are there rules for using biosolids?

Yes, there are rules for the two classes of biosolids: Class B and Class A. 

Class B biosolids still contain some pathogens.  Even though Class B biosolids have less pathogens than untreated manure, there are strict rules on where Class B biosolids can be used.  Some states or require permits when using Class B biosolids. 

Class A biosolids have no detectible levels of pathogens.  They also have requirements for low levels of metals and do not attract vectors.  Because of these tough standards, Class A biosolids are approved for all types of use.

In Akron, we produce Exceptional Quality (EQ) Class A biosolids.  Because our biosolids are heat dried, they can be used anywhere.  (The same was true with our compost!)

Support. Transform. Sustain.

KB BioEnergy works to be the example of preserving the Environment in which we live by creating an invaluable, sustainable renewable resource for The City of Akron and beyond.