Linden Industrial Park will be site of lagoon sludge land application

Linden’s Utility and Industrial Development boards agreed to land apply sludge from the lagoon to Linden Industrial Park during a joint meeting on April 16. Farm land that had originally been chosen for the land application is no longer available due to delays.

The process had been delayed because recent rains have made the land too wet for application.

Dustin Smith with Merrell Brothers, the company that is doing the land applying, assured the two boards that the process of land applying biowaste from lagoons is safe and regulated by the United States Environment Protection Agency (EPA). City Engineer Craig Sanford also said the sludge had been tested and is deemed safe to apply.

“The metals content is very, very low,” he said. Sanford further explained that the sludge contained less than 10 percent of the allowed metal content per materials.

Sanford, Smith and many others involved with the project informed members that the increased cost of transporting the sludge to the landfill is beyond the city’s current capability, and pressure from the state to commence the overdue lagoon project made land application at a cost of approximately $377,000 the most viable option to meet the project’s deadline.

Sanford also assured board members that land application of the sludge won’t affect the property value, and prospective industries won’t be deterred by the land application.

Following the close of the joint meeting, the utility board held their regular meeting and Tyson

informed them of an upcoming formal request for a contract extension until June with Merrell Brothers for lagoon sludge removal and land application to account for delays in the project due to recent rains.

Tyson and Sanford both assured the board that the second half of the overall lagoon project, which is part of a separate contract with another company and includes adding a new lift station and a new pump station, replacing discharge valves and building a chlorine contact chamber following the sludge removal, will remain unaffected by the extension of the contract with Merrell Brothers.

“It will still be done well ahead of the other project,” Sanford said.

Tyson also said that flooding in the lagoon’s lift station damaged one motor in the pump station over the weekend, which was fixed the day of the meeting, but the station as a whole was still operational.

He also reported that the city’s water loss for the month was at 21 percent, which Tyson said was a high number. The previous month’s water loss was 8 percent.

The Linden Utility Board meets at city hall on the third Tuesday of each month at 5 p.m.


(This article was updated Wednesday, May 1 to reflect additional information in the print publication under the headline ”

Linden moves ahead with lagoon sludge removal.”)