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Sustainability 2014, 6(5), 2424-2434; doi:10.3390/su6052424

Sustainability of Domestic Sewage Sludge Disposal

Chemistry Physics Environment Department, University of Udine, via del Cotonificio 108, 33100 Udine, Italy
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Received: 23 December 2013 / Revised: 9 April 2014 / Accepted: 14 April 2014 / Published: 25 April 2014
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Abstract

Activated sludge is now one of the most widely used biological processes for the treatment of wastewaters from medium to large populations. It produces high amounts of sewage sludge that can be managed and perceived in two main ways: as a waste it is discharged in landfill, as a fertilizer it is disposed in agriculture with direct application to soil or subjected to anaerobic digestion and composting. Other solutions, such as incineration or production of concrete, bricks and asphalt play a secondary role in terms of their degree of diffusion. The agronomical value of domestic sewage sludge is a proved question, which may be hidden by the presence of several pollutants such as heavy metals, organic compounds and pathogens. In this way, the sustainability of sewage sludge agricultural disposal requires a value judgment based on knowledge and evaluation of the level of pollution of both sewage sludge and soil. The article analyzed a typical Italian case study, a water management system of small communities, applying the criteria of evaluation of the last official document of European Union about sewage sludge land application, the “Working Document on Sludge (3rd draft, 2000)”. The report brought out good sewage sludge from small wastewater treatment plants and soils quality suggesting a sustainable application. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability; wastewater; activated sludge sustainability; wastewater; activated sludge
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Rizzardini, C.B.; Goi, D. Sustainability of Domestic Sewage Sludge Disposal. Sustainability 2014, 6, 2424-2434.

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