A Quick Word About Phosphorous

WGTB logo PNG 112x89 Post 30 in a series. When Green Turns Brown is an examination of a small town’s digester-energy project, in which Whitewater, Wisconsin would import other cities’ waste, claiming that the result would be both profitable and green.

In the course of presentations or public discussion about a wastewater upgrade, one has heard more than a few odd notions about phosphorous: that the more of it one produced the better, and that perhaps, just perhaps, spreading it on vacant land in the industrial park would be a possibility. (I’ll come back to this subject when I consider more about the environmental and health consequences of a protect like this.)

For today, though, a review of vendor Donohue’s own work should dispense with the odd notion (absurdly, from a council candidate and a member of the CDA, respectively) that one can’t get enough of it, or that one could just spread it around:

As discussed in TM 2 Flows, Loadings, and Existing Conditions, one of the primary concerns facing the wastewater treatment facility is a forthcoming low level phosphorous limit expected to be formally issued in the fall of 2014 when the facility’s discharge permit is renewed. This permit is expected to contain a monthly average phosphorous limit of 0.225 mg/L and a six month seasonal phosphorous limit of 0.075 mg/L. The purpose of this Technical Memorandum (TM 3) is to evaluate nutrient management technologies for the City of Whitewater’s wastewater treatment facility that will meet the new effluent requirements.

The full memorandum is embedded below. Quite simply, if phosphorous weren’t a concern, then neither our state, nor other states, nor this vendor would (presumably) be considering it at all.

As for why anyone would take seriously those who don’t think this community should take phosphorous seriously (including grasping what that means), I cannot say.

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