Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lawndale Avenue Solids Management Area (LASMA)

I recently visited the Lawndale Avenue Solids Management Area (LASMA). LASMA is where treated biosolids from our water reclamation plants undergo further processing . As I explained in a previous post, biosolids are nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from the treatment of sewage. At the wastewater treatment plants, raw sludge is processed in anaerobic digesters to reduce volatile organic compounds and pathogens. After the digesttion process, the biosolids are than either transported directly to the LASMA lagoons via a pipeline or piped to the centrifuge facility to undergo mechanical dewatering. After the centrifuge operation, the dewatered biosolids are transported to LASMA by either truck or train. The biosolids are processed further at LASMA to become a more suitable product for benefical reuse. For more information on the MWRD's biosolids program click here. Below are some pictures I took when I visited LASMA.

Above is a picture of the train that transports the dewatered biosolids from the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant to LASMA.

Here is another picture of the dewatered biosolids on the train.

This picture shows the biosolids being emptied into the Lagoons at LASMA. Storing in lagoons is the first step of processing the biosolids at LASMA. The biosolids are stored in the lagoons to further reduce volatile organic compounds and pathogens.

This is a lagoon that is just starting to be filled up with biosolids. The biosolids are typically stored in the lagoons for a minimum of 18 months.

The pictures above and below show another lagoon.

The biosolids are then removed from the lagoons by a crane with a clamshell bucket and are transported by truck to a drying site.

Here is a picture of the crane that transports the biosolids.

This is a picture of the clamshell bucket that retrieves the biosolids from the lagoon.

The biosolids from the lagoon are placed on the asphalt drying site. Here I am pointing at the drying area. Once dried, biosolids are ready for utilization as farmland application, landfill cover, and construction and topdressing of parks and recreation facilities.

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