Lake Twp.Trustees: No biosolids on farm fields

Larry Limpf

For the second time in two years the Lake Township trustees are asking the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to cease allowing the application of Class B biosolids on farm fields in the township.
The trustees Tuesday approved a resolution asking the Ohio EPA to stop the practice and requesting the Ohio legislature give townships the authority to prohibit the application on land that trustees deem unsuitable.
The resolution is similar to a resolution approved by the trustees in September 2017 after residents raised concerns about residue from the City of Toledo’s waste-water treatment being applied to a 73-acre field along Ayers Road.
The OEPA notified plant operators, the trustees and Wood County Health Department of the site being authorized for the application.
Richard Welling, a trustee who drafted the 2017 resolution, said he brought forward last week’s resolution after a resident of Lemoyne Road noticed a sign designating a field for application near her home.
The resolution approved last week notes the township is required to prepare a storm sewer management plan designed to reduce the discharge of pollutants and protect water quality. The application of Class B biosolids may hinder those efforts, the resolution says.
According to EPA regulations, the biosolids must be applied at least 300 feet from a residence and 100 feet from “waters of the state.”
The township resolution states the rules don’t take into account precipitation levels and the resulting run-off into creeks and rivers that drain into Lake Erie.
The OEPA defines biosolids, which are often reused as fertilizer, as treated solid, semi-solid or liquid residue generated during the treatment of domestic sewage. Class B biosolids may contain micro-organisms after treatment.
Mike Hossler, township zoning inspector, said he’s been frustrated by a lack of information about the application program from the OEPA.
He said the agency hasn’t kept him informed on who regulates the application and how often fields are inspected.
In the letter the agency sent in 2017 regarding the Ayers Road field, it said it considered the site’s soil type, distance from residences, ground water conditions and proximity to waterways and wells in making the decision to authorize the application of biosolids.
Other fields in the township have been authorized to receive the sludge, Hossler said, but not all approved fields have actually received the sludge.
In December 2014, Synagro, a Baltimore-based company, announced it had an agreement with the City of Toledo for a five-year biosolids recycling program that would save the city $900,000 annually by avoiding landfilling costs.
Under the agreement, Synagro said:
-Toledo’s biosolids will be used as fertilizer on farm land, eliminating the need for more than 400 tons of chemical fertilizer.
-The use of biosolids as fertilizer will reduce the potential for phosphorus runoff to waterways by 98 percent.
-The program will be in compliance with Ohio’s environmental regulations.


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association