City of Los Angeles Biosolids Environmental Management System reaps benefits

The City of Los Angeles, CA voluntarily signed up as a demonstration agency for the NBP biosolids EMS program to improve the effectiveness of operations and ensure the integrity of its beneficial use program.


Feb. 10, 2004 -- The City of Los Angeles, CA voluntarily signed up as a demonstration agency for the NBP biosolids EMS program to improve the effectiveness of operations and ensure the integrity of its beneficial use program.

After 14 months of EMS implementation, an independent third party auditor certified the city. The certification means that the city meets the requirements for admittance to the NBP EMS program and that they support excellence in biosolids management practices, exceed regulatory compliance obligations, and provide meaningful opportunities for public participation.

Since the implementation, communication between employees, management, contractors, and the public has improved. Documents such as standard operating procedures have been revised, reviewed, and approved. A management review team was formed to track the goals and objectives of the program.

The public outreach program was expanded by providing the means to communicate through website, hotline, videos, and tours. These communication methods allow for easier exchange of information between the city and the public and have reduced response time from 10 days to three days for providing information to the public.

Also these communication methods have enhanced the city's public relations and outreach and provided meaningful opportunities for the public to obtain information about the program and provide input into how the city manages its biosolids. program, implement operational changes, and research new technologies for biosolids management.

The EMS allowed the city to move forward with changing its operations at the treatment plants to produce a higher quality of biosolids, Class A. This was accomplished by requesting input from the public, developing a task force to address new regulatory requirements, and conducting pilot and research projects to determine the most cost effective method for producing Class A biosolids.

The Class A biosolids at the city facilities are produced by raising the temperature in the digesters from mesophilic to thermophilic. Class A biosolids production has been achieved at the Hyperion Treatment Plant (HTP) and construction activities are underway to complete Class A production at the Terminal Island Treatment Plant (TITP) by January 2004; one of their goals and continual improvement projects.

The city is pleased with the outcomes that the new style of management has produced for its biosolids program: improved environmental performance (producing a higher quality biosolids), increased public acceptance (gaining public acceptance in a county outside of Los Angeles), continued regulatory compliance (meeting new ordinance requirements), and established methods to address continual improvements (management review team, internal and independent audits).

The city's EMS web page is located at http://www.lacity.org/san/biosolidsems/.

Source: City of Los Angeles, California and the National Biosolids Partnership

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