Letter to the Editor: Please Do More Research on Bio-Solids 


To the good people of Lewis County: This is a letter to the mayor of Tenino who mistakenly thinks that he has a good plan for dealing with bio-solids/bio-sludge — human waste that has been treated supposedly to be used harmlessly (?!) for fertilizing our crops —no.               

At one time I felt as you, that if biowaste could be “cleaned up” it could be safely used for farming.  But sadly, I have since learned that this is not true.  No matter the treatment/grade — Premium, A, B, C, etc. — the bio-sludge still contains leads and other metals, antibiotics and cancer therapy drugs.  These poisons do not dissipate over time, but rather compound with each application.  Plants grown on these fields contain these poisons, and animals (and people) who eat these plants ingest the poisons.  By applying bio-sludge to our fields, we are fouling our own nests. Some people exposed to bio-sludge have been known to get very ill, often with cancer, often fatally.  Rain water washes the field sludge into streams and rivers, contaminating those natural resources, too.  The EPA has regulations to keep our air and water clean, but don’t seem to have adequate regulations for keeping our lands clean.  Speaking of water, has the liquid (water?) at the sewage treatment plants been distilled before dumping in our rivers and streams?  That is the only procedure that will guarantee clean water. What to do with the bio-sludge? I’ve heard from two different sources that it can be incinerated and used to generate electricity.  (Apparently, some cities in Europe are burning their bio-sludge.)   There are people in other communities that are fighting against bio-sludge dumping in Lewis County and around our state.  Please do more research on this subject and don’t get locked in on what seems like an easy solution instead of a safe solution.  

Carol Kearns,