Friday, May 20, 2011

Biosolids as Fertilizer?!

Do you ever stop to wonder where your waste ends up? Many of us do not; but what if I told you that your waste is being used as sustainable agricultural fertilizer?

Now as disgusting as that may sound, human waste or Biosolids actually have great benefits, as I will discuss later in this blog, but first what are Biosolids?

Biosolids are nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from the treatment of domestic sewage
sludge in a treatment facility. When Sludge has been treated and processed, the remains can be recycled and applied as fertilizers.

The formation of Biosolids:

First waste and various other materials from homes, businesses and factories enter into the sewage system. They then are transferred to sewage treatment facilities which generate the treatment of domestic wastewater in which biosolids are created. In many larger wastewater treatment systems, pre-treatment regulations require industrial facilities to pre-treat their wastewater to remove hazardous contaminants before it is sent to a wastewater treatment plant. Wastewater treatment facilities monitor incoming wastewater streams to ensure their ability to recycle and compatibility with the plant's treatment process. Once wastewater has reached the plant, the sewage goes through intricate physical, chemical, and biological processes to separate the water from the solids. If necessary the solids are treated with lime to raise the pH and reduce odour, which acts as a sanitizer to control pathogens which include such things as :

  • Disease-causing organisms
  • Certain bacteria
  • Viruses and parasites

Pros and Cons of Biosolids in sustainable agriculture:


  • Biosolids meet the strict quality criteria and application rates, and have been shown to produce significant improvements in crop growth and yield.

  • Biosolids have nutrients in them
  • such as: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and traces of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, sulfur and zinc, which are necessary for crop production and growth.
  • The use of biosolids reduces the farmer's production costs and replenishes the organic matter that has been depleted over time.


  • It is feared that if Biosolids are not treated with proper care and delicacy it might pose as harmful to one’s health due to the presence of pathogens.

  • Biosolids can be contaminating due to the deposits of industrial waste.

  • Biosolids contain a strong distinct smell that might be bothersome to others.

We are greatly affected by the western views on human waste, however let it not cloud your judgement. Biosolids have many advantages which can truly benefits us and the environment. So why not give it a chance? we have nothing to lose and so much to gain.


Renewable Energy Crop With Biosolids." Upload & Share PowerPoint Presentations and Documents. Web. 20 May 2011.

"CWWA - FAQ - Biosolids." CWWA/ACEPU. Web. 20 May 2011.

Lee, Asba. "Fertilizers Used in Farming |" EHow. Web. 20 May 2011.

"Home | Biosolids | About Biosolids." Water Environment Federation: The Water Quality People. Web. 20 May 2011.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Proud To Be Canadian

Canadians have created a truly outstanding and widely known contribution to the medical industry with various technologies that many rely on, which have and continue to save countless lives. These are a couple of examples out of the many contributions Canadians have made:

One of the most widely known Canadian breakthrough would be the discovery of Insulin. In 1920, Frederick Banting had an idea how to isolate the substance from the pancreas in dogs. Working in a lab at the University of Toronto, he and Charles Best developed the first pancreatic extract. Enlisting the help of J.J.R. MacLeod and J.B. Collip, on a fellowship from the University of Alberta, the team was able to produce and purify insulin for testing on patients in 1922. Prior to insulin, a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes was a death sentence for children. Today insulin saves and prolongs millions of lives around the world.


                                           HEART SURGERY

A while ago heart surgeons were unable to open the heart and correct problems within, as they were unable to safely stop the blood flow to see what they were doing. That is until a Canadian surgeon and hypothermia researcher Dr. Wilfred Bigelow discovered in the early 1940s that lowering temperature of an arm or leg also reduced its oxygen requirements. Bigelow believed the hypothermia might help doctors operating on newborns with heart defects. In 1950, he and Toronto General Hospital colleague Dr. John Callaghan presented their work at a medical convention. In 1952, hypothermia was allowed the first open-heart operation on a human.

                                                           The Cobalt Bomb

Although ionizing radiation from radium and X-rays had been used for decades in cancer treatment, it was either too weak to penetrate far enough to treat deep tumours, or too expensive. In 1947, the National Research Experimental Reactor at Chalk River, Ont., began producing radioactive cobalt-60 isotopes about 100 times more radioactive than radium and far cheaper to produce. Dr. Harold Johns of the University of Saskatchewan requested some for a prototype therapy unit that would make deep tissue radiation therapy possible and relatively affordable. This new equipment was named the Cobalt Bomb, as it was described as an “atomic weapon in the fight against cancer”. For the first time, deep tumours such as those in the bladder, cervix and lungs could be effectively treated with radiation. The cure rate for cervical cancer, for example, increased to 75 per cent from 25 per cent after development of the Cobalt Bomb.                                                  


It is amazing to see the great contributions Canadians have made to the world, most particularity in the medical field, and in helping to understand our internal body system. yet this is only the beginning, Canadians will continue to astonish the world with their great abilities.

It's truly great to be Canadian ! J

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