The Barceloneta Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant is a secondary treatment facility serving the pharmaceutical industries and municipalities of Barceloneta and Manati. Nutter & Associates staff began working with principal industries in 1982 to identify the feasibility of land treating the biosolids produced at the plant. Nutter & Associates developed design criteria for the project, obtained Permits for a prototype study and a Preliminary Environmental Impact Statement.
The project has been operational since 1985 in the Caño Tiburones on former sugar cane farm land adjacent to the treatment plant. The Caño is drained by a series of canals installed during the sugar cane farming era. The approximately 1,000-acre site is managed for Pangola grass. The harvested Pangola grass is used for livestock feed. The biosolids production of about 14 dry tons/day is injected to a depth of 8 to 10 inches.
Because of the large industrial component of flow to the treatment plant, Nutter & Associates has developed a monitoring program to track the fate of metals and organics, as well as nitrogen, in vegetation, soils, ground water, and surface water. The results of this monitoring program are compiled, analyzed and reported quarterly and annually to the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board as a part of regulatory compliance.
The Barceloneta Sludge Land Treatment Project has met the design criteria and permit conditions, and is a successful application of land treatment technology.