Safety and Certifications
Oquirrh Mountain Compost Safety – Rated “Class A – Exceptional Quality” by EPA
Central Valley Water Reclamation Facility’s Mission is to improve the Utah environment by treating wastewater and recovering resources, safely, efficiently, and sustainably. Recovering and reusing the carbon and other nutrients in the wastewater delivered to CVWRF is a key element of our mission.
Have you ever wondered how products recovered from and made out of wastewater can be safe and good to use in gardening and landscaping? In fact, compost products derived from wastewater solids are packed with nutrients that plants need and thrive on and are very safe to use. Safety is our number one concern as we make products out of treated wastewater biosolids, and it’s the law (Federal Regulation 40 CFR Part 503). Today, modern wastewater and solids treatment processes (see Composting Process Tab) and strict controls on what is discharged into sewers contribute to high quality, recyclable and safe biosolids.
With the formation of the EPA in 1970 to protect the environment by regulating environmental pollution and the passage of the Clean Water Act of 1972, municipalities instituted programs to control pollutants discharged to the wastewater treatment system from commercial and industrial sources. These programs are called pretreatment programs and are designed to control pollution at its source. They have significantly reduced discharge of harmful materials into sewer systems and thus improved the quality of our treated water and biosolids. Businesses now use fewer hazardous products, recycle used products, or properly treat and dispose of those hazardous products in a safe and approved way as a result of pretreatment programs.
Central Valley Water Reclamation Facility’s pretreatment program is enforced through our pretreatment ordinance. The program is staffed by six professionals who continuously visit, inspect, educate, sample, monitor and penalize if necessary, commercial and industrial dischargers to ensure harmful materials are not discharged to our wastewater collection system. In addition, the wastewater and solids entering the treatment facility and throughout the entire treatment process are sampled and analyzed daily by our State of Utah Certified laboratory to ensure compliance with all State and Federal standards.
You may have heard news stories about public outcry against the land application of wastewater biosolids on farmland. The type of biosolids applied to agricultural land is called Class B. Although this level of treatment is safe when used for agricultural application on controlled, fenced and monitored sites, Central Valley Water Reclamation Facility chose a more strenuous process for its composted biosolids offered to the public to ensure that our products would be completely safe and pathogen free. Our process uses heat applied over a long time period under controlled and monitored conditions to kill microorganisms including potential pathogens in the treated biosolids.
The minimum temperature we are allowed to use by Federal Regulation (40 CFR Part 503) is 131 degrees Fahrenheit (55 Deg. C). The composting biosolids and wood chip mixture must be held above that temperature for a minimum of 3 days to achieve the required pathogen destruction. Our composting process holds biosolids at temperatures over 131 deg. F. for approximately 4 weeks, ten times longer than required to achieve pathogen destruction. Our biosolids are so safe the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calls them “Class A – Exceptional Quality,” the agency’s highest rating.
If you live in the central part of Salt Lake County, you contribute to the biosolids production process at the Central Valley Water Reclamation Facility. Businesses and households connected to sewer systems generate a significant quantity of waste solids. In fact, the average person in Utah produces enough “raw material” to make about 40 dry pounds of digested biosolids a year. Oquirrh Mountain Compost is recycling at its best; creating something truly useful, safe, and beneficial out of what goes down the drain.
To see the benefits of Oquirrh Mountain Compost Products in action, please visit our Demonstration Garden on the west side of the Administration Building parking lot at the Central Valley plant site. This garden was started in 2014 on poor clay soil and produces a wide variety of vegetables that are harvested and used by CVWRF employees.
Oquirrh Mountain Compost Certifications
Oquirrh Mountain Compost Products meets all United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for “Class A – Exceptional Quality” and has received the US Composting Council seal of testing assurance through rigorous physical, chemical, and bioassay analyses. You can rely on Oquirrh Mountain Compost Products to:
- Provide organic carbon matter to depleted soils
- Supply necessary micro and macro nutrients to planting materials
- Assist in disease suppression by promoting healthy plant growth
- Improve soil structure, water retention, tilth, workability and plant root environment