Fertilizer containing sludge being applied to farmland. (Courtesy North East Biosolids and Residuals Association)
The Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant is a pollution success story. Over the last several decades, it transformed Boston Harbor from a nationally embarrassing cesspool into a swimmable bay.
The treatment plant takes everything the people of Greater Boston send down their sinks, toilets, showers and washing machines — plus industrial waste — and treats it. The treated water is clean enough to let out into the ocean. The remaining sludge gets recycled into fertilizer that’s used in nearly 20 states.
But now that fertilizer is raising fresh concerns. That’s because wastewater treatment plants like Deer Island were not built to handle the toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS.
read full article