MWRD Announces Biosolids Naming Contest

Aug. 3, 2016
The public can submit until Aug. 30

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago (MWRD) announced it is accepting public submissions for a contest to name Chicago biosolids. The submissions deadline is Aug. 30, 2016.

Due to recent changes in Illinois law, for the first time, MWRD biosolids can be made available and sold to the general public. MWRD produces biosolids as part of the water treatment process and is turning to the public for help in naming both the Exceptional Quality (EQ) biosolids and the EQ biosolids blend, which is composted with woodchips. To submit a name, contact [email protected] or MWRD on Facebook or Twitter. Contestants are urged to be appropriate but creative.

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District in Milwaukee markets their biosolids as "Milorganite," and the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) in Washington recently launched "Bloom."

"At a time when there is growing scrutiny over fertilizers and pesticides, we are supporting a natural trend that is both resourceful to our environment and also our taxpayers," said MWRD President Mariyana Spyropoulos. "We encourage the public to enter the contest today and have fun knowing they are part of this most interesting and unusual cycle of life."

MWRD biosolids are a high-quality product of the water treatment process that can be recovered and turned into a valuable resource for plants. Air-dried biosolids look like dark, fine-textured topsoil and are a sustainable alternative to chemical fertilizers. Instead of being trucked to a landfill or deposited in waterways as practiced many years ago, the biosolids can be used almost anywhere soil amendments and chemical fertilizers would be used, and they are more effective and a fraction of the cost.

Golf courses, athletic fields, parks and recreational facilities, and agricultural and farm fields have used MWRD biosolids. The biosolids have also been used to restore brownfields and other disturbed lands.

The legislation, which was signed last year by Chicago Gov. Bruce Rauner, amends the Illinois Environmental Protection Act (IEPA) to create the new definition of EQ biosolids. MWRD worked with IEPA, the Illinois Department of Agriculture, and several environmental groups to develop the legislation after gaining approval from EPA and other environmental regulators. The approval affirms the rigorous testing EQ biosolids have undergone and ensures its safety and effectiveness.

The MWRD reserves discretion in naming this product.

Source: Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

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