WERF Targets Trace Organics in Biosolids-amended Soil

The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) is seeking funding partners to participate in a targeted collaborative research effort to assess the risks associated with trace organics in soils to which biosolids have been applied.

The foundation is responding to requests from its subscribers to conduct research needed to evaluate the fate and transport of trace organics in biosolids-amended soils, following the release of the Targeted National Sewage Sludge Survey by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The survey found wide variation in levels and frequency of detection for a number of pollutants, including pharmaceuticals, steroids, and flame retardants.

The research is slated to be conducted in phases over five years, with periodic updates provided to funding partners to help keep their constituents informed on the latest information on trace organics in biosolids. The first stage of the project will produce a state-of-the-science evaluation that will document what is known and identify the most critical data gaps. In addition to guiding the research plan, this initial effort will provide funding partners with information to help bring additional perspective to biosolids trace organic issues and to communicate more effectively with their constituents on these issues.

Although funds have already been identified to tackle the initial stage of the research, additional funds are needed to address this issue as quickly as possible. To learn more, Alan Hais, WERF’s program director for solids and residuals, at 703.684.2470 ext. 7146 or send e-mail to ahais@werf.org.

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