Sewer sludge is the toxic residue that is created as the end product of sewer treatment. Anything and everything that is poured down sinks, toilets and storm drains ends up at the sewer treatment plant. It doesn’t just contain personal and household sewage, it also contains waste from factories, hospitals, industries and any unscrupulous person who pours paints, oils and other poisons down the storm drains.
At one time, sewer sludge was discharged into the oceans and rivers but over time it became very obvious that this practice was becoming a health and environmental disaster. So now the EPA in its infinite wisdom has allowed the legal application of this toxic sludge for farmer’s crops and residential back yards as a cheap alternative to fertilizer.
The US Courts have found alarming correlations between sewer sludge application on farms and an alarming rise is poisonings and death. They actually blame the EPA for failing to protect our farms and food supply. A federal court in the state of Georgia recently ruled that the application of sewer sludge over time was the cause of soil contamination on several farms that killed some cattle. Rat poison from sewer sludge was also found in milk distributed for sale, the same Court ruled. The EPA reply to the Court was to provide fraudulent data and attempted to hide what they were doing. This too, was discovered by the Court.
Despite the ever-growing evidence of the biosolid danger, sewer sludge giveaway programs are breeding across the country like rabbits. Even San Francisco, one of the greenest cities in the union is touting this toxic sludge as organic compost to its citizens. It is being applied to schoolyards and playgrounds, playing fields, home gardens and backyards. The heavy metals and the litany of chemical pollutants will remain in the soil for years.
In 2008, the organic compost distributed to unsuspecting San Francisco residents contained toxins such as p-Isopropyltoluene, one of a myriad of industrial chemicals found in a lot of manufactured products; 1,4-Dichlorobenzene, which is found in disinfectants and pesticides; toluene, an industrial solvent; 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, a petroleum product resulting from refinery distillation; and phenol or carbolic acid as it is also known, which is used in the manufacturing process of synthetic fibers, drugs, antiseptics and disinfectants. This is not a grocery list you expect to find added to the food chain.
The most alarming result of this practice is that eventually these toxins will end up in the water supply and the poisons will just spread. There is increasing evidence now that water is losing its purity at an alarming rate. Since water is intrinsic to our life, we had better put our collective minds together and come up with a solution soon. It’s bad enough that we could be eating these toxins in our next salad, let’s not drink them, too.