JAMESTOWN — The city of Jamestown is looking to dump its sludge and biosolids for free for local farmers to use as an alternative to fertilizer at its sewage treatment plant just west of the landfill.
About 4 to 5 million gallons of sludge will need to be removed from the site by this fall, said Ron Olson, operator of Wastewater Treatment Plant 4, which is the main operator. He said the content of the sludge is nitrogen and comes from potato waste from Cavendish Farms.
“I can’t tell you what it looks like because I’ve never opened one of those bags,” he said. “It’s probably dry mud now. With all the rain and everything in there, I guess it’s pretty runny.
If a local farmer doesn’t want the sludge, it will most likely go to landfill, said Syed Sajid Ahmad, utility operations manager at the sewage treatment plant.
Farmers have had to deal with rising input costs, including fertilizer. The Jamestown Sun previously reported that a farmer said urea fertilizer was costing around $900 to $1,000 a ton this year, down from around $300 a ton, and anhydrous from $700 to $800. per ton to around $1,500 per ton.
Each mud bag is approximately 50 meters long and 10 meters wide. Olson said the bags will need to be opened and a loader will load it onto a truck that can hold liquid without leaking.
“We deliver it,” he said. “We have two semis and a tanker.”
He said Jarred Gasal, whose farm is about 7 miles east of Jamestown, usually accepted sludge for a field. But with the rainfall this spring, Gasal will have to get to the fields as soon as possible and sow them.
“They pretty much bend backwards for me,” Olson said. “Without the Gasal Farm, we would be in trouble.”
Olson said 150 cultivable acres are needed for 4.5 million gallons of sludge. He said he could apply about 1,000 gallons per minute at 1.5 mph with a Terra-Gator 2505.
“Everything is in liquid form by the time it leaves here,” he said. “It’s a bit thick and watery. The water will settle and the sludge will stay on top. When it dries up, probably about a day and a half later, they (the farmer) will come and dig it up in the field . »
Olson said the Gasal typically planted corn and soybeans in the fields the mud was applied to them. He said he saw maize planted in thick, high fields.
For more information on slimes, call Ahmad at 252-9149.