As with any environmental treatment, the processes of properly treating water and wastewater inherently creates some waste, in the form of the sediment and organic material that gets filtered out during the treatment process. This waste is classified by the EPA as "solid waste."
At Aqua, we are committed to minimizing the amount of solid waste produced at our treatment facilities, and ensuring that waste that is created is handled responsibly. Because the solid waste produced at our treatment facilities is organic matter, in most cases, it is able to be beneficially reused for use in farming and land application. The nutrients in the organic solid waste are beneficial to crops and can help replenish soil, and therefore can be applied to the land in the place of fertilizer or manure. When it cannot be reused, the waste is sent to a landfill or to be further processed at another facility.
- Aqua produced 38,505 tons of solid waste (equivalent to 1,604 dump trucks)
- 90 percent of this waste came from the treatment of water
- 10 percent of this waste came from the treatment of wastewater
- 74 percent (28,356 tons or the equivalent of 1,185 dump trucks) of this solid waste is beneficially reused
- 26 percent (10,149 tons or the equivalent of 423 dump trucks) was sent to landfills or further processed at another facility
"The definition of solid waste is not limited to wastes that are physically solid.
Many solid wastes are liquid, semi-solid, or contained gaseous material."