Thanks for reaching out. The contracts for spreading biosolids are handled at the municipal level, not the state level. DEQ enforces a setback of 200 feet for application of biosolid materials. We currently have no reason to believe that the setback requirement has been violated. Rep. Gomberg has argued for increasing that setback level and will continue to do so as we move into the 2019 legislative session. In the meantime, if you believe violations of biosolid application have occurred, you can contact the DEQ complaint hotline at 888-997-7888.
Additionally, I’ve forwarded a recent update we received from DEQ regarding water testing. Please note that not every algae bloom contains cyanotoxins and that current quality testing is also handled at the municipal level.
Our office is continuing to learn more about the issue and we sincerely appreciate you bringing these concerns to us. We are working with state and local partners to hold a meeting in Lincoln County on biosolid issues on August 21. I will be sure to let you know once we have the details set for that meeting. Until then, please let me know if I can be of further assistance. Thank you!
Tyler Janzen Chief of Staff Rep. David Gomberg Oregon House District 10
Recent detections of cyanotoxins in drinking water caused by Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) have raised health concerns across the state. Not every bloom results in the presence of toxins, but when it does it can pose a health risk to people that recreate in or drink the water. Pets and livestock are also particularly vulnerable to these toxins. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), Oregon Emergency Management (OEM), Oregon Military Department, municipalities, nonprofit organizations and community partners are working together to protect public health.
OHA and DEQ coordinate monitoring and response for reported HABs statewide, but until this point there has been no federal or state requirement for the testing of HAB related toxins. OHA recently completed a temporary rule that will require drinking water suppliers using certain water sources, such as those prone to harmful algae blooms, to routinely test for cyanotoxins. The suppliers are required to issue do-not-drink advisories when levels of those toxins go above health-based guideline values.
The rule establishes a baseline for testing, requiring water suppliers to test their raw water at least every two weeks. If a detection at or above the health advisory level is found, suppliers must increase monitoring to weekly of both the raw intake and finished water. If any finished water detection occurs, monitoring of finished water must occur daily. If testing of water samples from a finished water sampling point exceeds the health advisory level and is confirmed by a subsequent analysis, a health advisory is required.
The rule is effective July 1, 2018 and the first round of required testing will take place the week of July 16th. The temporary rules will be in place July 1-Dec. 31, 2018. In the meantime, OHA will open a public process for developing permanent cyanotoxin testing rules.
Development of in-state lab
DEQ will provide testing service required under the rule at no cost to the facility. DEQ will test for cyanotoxins by the ELISA method, commonly used in other states and required by the temporary rule. If a system wishes to do further or confirmatory testing by the LC/MS/MS method, which is not required by the rule, DEQ can conduct that testing for a fee. A system may also choose to conduct testing through an independent lab.
Partnership with local water suppliers
OHA and DEQ are working closely with water suppliers to ensure compliance with the new rules so that cyanotoxins are kept out of drinking water and people in Oregon can kept safe from exposure to toxins. The agencies have developed joint FAQs for the public and water systems. The DEQ Lab will lead a webinar for water systems aimed at providing information and guidance regarding sampling and testing kits on July 10.
Government agencies are use existing resources to quickly begin implementation of the temporary rules. Agencies anticipate a budgetary request to the Legislative Emergency Board to support the work this fall.
The City of Newport IS THE ONLY municipality that has CLASS "A" SEWAGE FACILITIES FOR PROCESSING HUMAN WASTE AND BY PRODUCTS.
All other municipalities pump UNTREATED AND TREADED effluent into our rivers and bays. We will continue to loose fish runs in addition to contaminating the sediment of our rivers and bays that are poisoning our invertebrates; species: such as clams, oysters, crawdads etc. as long as we pollute our rivers with the runoff from the disposal of treated or untreated bio-solids into the terrestrial world of our environment.
Consider that pollution from sewage plants does not account for the pollution generated by the liars within the farming and timber industry, failures by Oregon's State Agencies, the EPA and Donald Trump's EPA business friendly regulations and the list goes on and on.
Oregon's invertebrates are disappearing from our State Waters.
Oregon's State Waters are not sewers!!! They are a living biologically functioning entity that supports the very essence of our humanity.
The State of Oregon has embraced the use of biosolids as fertilizer. Regardless of the political hoop-la over the problems that biosolid fertilizer is responsible for. The degradation of the water quality of the Siletz River will continue to decline. There is little chance that the State's use policy of biosolids will change.
3.11 Biosolids Program Biosolids are the nutrient-rich organic solids that are derived from the treatment of domestic wastewater at municipal wastewater facilities. The organic matter, nitrogen and phosphorus, as well as numerous micronutrients, present in biosolids enhance intensively-managed agricultural soils as well as degraded soils.
Biosolids act as a slow-release fertilizer, which improves plant growth, while reducing the use of conventional fertilizers in agricultural operations. The high organic matter content in biosolids enhances soil water holding capacity and improves microbial activity. Overall, biosolids improve soil quality by enhancing soil functions,such as cycling nutrients, regulating water, and filtering potential pollutants. The results of biosolids land applications include healthier crops with better drought resistance, fewer pollutants leaching to groundwater and surface water, and less erosion and sediment runoff to surface waters.
The DEQ Biosolids program regulates wastewater solids and domestic septage that has undergone sufficient treatment to allow its beneficial use as a soil amendment or fertilizer through land application. Biosolids are regulated through NPDES or WPCF water quality permits issued by DEQ. Prior to land application, biosolids Umpqua Basin Status Report and Action Plan 99 are analyzed for nutrients, pathogens, metals and stability. For land application, the concentrations of nine metals must be below federal and state biosolid ceiling limits; pathogens must be reduced; and the biosolids stabilized to reduce odors, i.e., vector attraction reduction or VAR.
Biosolids contain significant concentrations of organic nitrogen and may not be applied at rates that exceed the Oregon State University Fertilizer Guide agronomic requirements for cultivated crops. Land application activities are described in biosolids management plans, and site authorization letters that are reviewed and approved by DEQ. DEQ requires wastewater treatment facilities to monitor and report on biosolids activities. Statewide, 95 percent of biosolids are beneficially reused as a soil amendment or fertilizer. In 2012, approximately 1,234 dry tons of biosolids were generated from twelve Douglas County municipal wastewater treatment facilities and Heard Farms, a private wastewater facility that processes septage, biosolids, and other approved domestic wastes (Figure 22). Oakland, Riddle, Sutherlin, and Winchester Bay transferred a total of 102 dry tons of biosolids to Heard Farms in 2012. Heard Farms land applied 446 dry tons of biosolids, or 35 percent of the total biosolids in the Umpqua Basin, in 2012. Roseburg Urban Sanitation Authority is the second largest biosolids producer in the basin, land applying 299 dry tons in 2012.
Figure 22: Sources of Biosolid Generation by Percentage in the Umpqua Basin
Action 1: Continue to require monitoring and reporting on biosolids activities; review monitoring results; take prompt and appropriate action when potential issues arise; provide technical assistance for facility owners and operators when needed. Coordinate with wastewater treatment facilities and identify opportunities for the beneficial reuse of biosolids generated in the Umpqua Basin.
Action 2: Biosolids program work with Oregon Department of Agriculture and OSU extension staff to develop advanced best management practices for CAFO waste and biosolid waste management and develop a research forum on determining nitrogen loading rates that are protective of groundwater and surface water. Alignment Opportunity: Work with wastewater facilities, communities, and land owners to recognize environmental benefits of biosolids programs.