From sludge to fertilizer: Detroit plan could eliminate smell

From sludge to fertilizer: Detroit plan could save millions, get rid of smell

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The Wastewater Treatment Plant The Wastewater Treatment Plant
DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) -

State Representative Rashida Tlaib says the technology at the Wastewater Treatment Plant on West Jefferson in Detroit is outdated.

But now Detroit is about to make history. In the next few years, a new state of the art facility will be coming to the plant, possibly putting the plant's known foul odor to rest.
"[The smell] is not normal. Water treatments plants in Boston, in other areas, do not have this foul odor that we have here in Detroit," Tlaib tells Fox 2's Andrea Isom.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality tells Fox 2 that the new project, a bio-solids drying facility, will help cut down on the odor. The sludge - or treated sewage - will be turned into fertilizer or fuel.

All of the processing will take place inside. Odor and air pollution controls will be on the building to help keep any odor from getting out and when the product leaves the facility it should be extremely dry, helping to stop the smell.

Another complaint many people have voiced about the plant is the truck traffic. We're told that traffic could also be curbed by about 75 percent.

Detroit's water and sewage department is expected to spend close to 700 million dollars from now until 2037 by building and running this new operation. A New England fertilizer  company has been contracted to make this mission a success which could bring savings of close to 17 million dollars a year in Detroit.

An informational session will take place October 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Delray neighborhood house, located at 420 Leigh St. Following the session will be a public hearing that begins at 7 p.m.

MDEQ will also host its annual meeting on operations of Detroit's wastewater treatment on October 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the same location.

The project is expected to be mostly complete by the end of 2015 and start production in early 2016.

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