Southern California environment news and trends

Mmm, biosolids: Terminal Island Renewable Energy looking to re-up for a few more seasons


Hyperion Treatment Plant processes our biofluids. For the last 5 years, LA's been shooting them into the ground.

This is always the sort of topic that makes me want to talk like Homer Simpson. When you treat sewage and spit the water out one side, a spongy, sterilized byproduct comes out the other. That's "biosolids," and for the last 5 years, LA has been testing a new way to deal with them...a way that is, in fact, "the nation’s first full scale application of deep well injection technology." Explaining what that means is complicated but cool. 

All of the crap we send into sewers produces 1 million pounds of biosolids in southern California. The City of Los Angeles and specifically its Hyperion Treatment Plant can raise its hand and take credit for a quarter of that..."pathogen free, exceptional quality, Grade A biosolids." Some of those biosolids get composted in Griffith Park. And for 11 years much of those high-quality biosolids have been trucked to a field in Kern County and spread over non-food farmland. They serve as fertilizer for Green Acres Farm, a 4-thousand acre property near Bakersfield that LA bought specifically so that it could have land on which to spread solid waste. LA farms alfalfa and other feedstock grains that the city sells locally in Kern County.