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Human Feces Used as Fertilizer Has Neighbors Fuming

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posted on Dec, 29 2011 @ 12:44 PM
reply to post by wutz4tom

If a WWT plant has significant effluent from industry, metals tend to get in. The bacterial bodies are excellent chelators for metals and when they are used as fertilizer will release the metals on decomposition. In a crop like tomatoes, the metals end up in the tomato, which is why Milorganite was recommended for flower gardens. In 1994, that ban was lifted.
Use of sterilized sludge on crops by local farmers should follow approved practices or the State DER should be notified. I would recommend the state be notified if there is any application of waste sludge near you or your watershed, especially if you are using well water. Check the well water often for bio contamination. Fish kills and sicknesses are possible when the material is misapplied or not completely sterile.
"Sherry Rindels, Department of Horticulture
For many years Milorganite, a biosolid fertilizer product, has had warnings on its label not to use the product on food crops. The reason for this labeling was because Milorganite and other biosolid fertilizers had high levels of cadmium, which could cause health problems.
In the 1980's laws were put into effect on industries requiring them to reduce the amount of heavy metals and cadmium they discharge into their wastewater. Because of these restrictions, levels of heavy metals in Milorganite have dropped significantly. In 1993, after 15 years of testing, EPA has set the limits on the concentration of heavy metals in biosolid fertilizers like Milorganite. Milorganite has levels below those limits and does not pose a risk to the environment or human health and is safe to use on vegetable gardens. In 1994 the label was changed to include food crops.

For those of you who have been using Milorganite on your lawn and flowers, you can now include your vegetable garden as well."

ETA: The table at this site shows EPA limits of contaminants and levels in Milorganite in 2009.
edit on 12/29/2011 by pteridine because: Edit for content

posted on Dec, 29 2011 @ 01:53 PM
reply to post by pteridine

Nice contribution..I appreciate the help and the included information.

posted on Dec, 29 2011 @ 01:55 PM

Originally posted by TiredofControlFreaks
reply to post by lonewolf19792000

I also have a great deal of knowledge on this subject.

The "chemical" used in sewage treatment plants is alum. It causes particulate to become heavy and sticky and causes the solids to sink to the bottom of the clarifyer where it can be captured and pumped out separate from the water, which is discharged to the environment.

Drying the sludge into pellets kills all bacteria so the pellets are sterile.

This is considered to be a more environmentally conscious means of recycling human sewage. In canada - it is classed as a product and sold to farmers. The pellets dissolve slowly and fertilize the field much more evenly. The liquid sludge (heavily contaminated with bacteria) sometimes runs off the land and contaminates waterways. Pellets do not.

The pellets however, have some drawbacks. The pellets are self-combusting and will smolder from the inside out if exposed to moisture (including humidity) - that is what causes the horrendous smell. Farmers would be doing themselves a favour if they applied the pellets before plowing.

The plants were the sewage is dried are prone to explosions because of this self-combusting property. In Ontario - every single pelletizing plant that was ever built exploded and to the best of my knowledge, sludge is no longer being pelletized in Ontario.

Tired of Control Freaks

Thanks for the info behind the smell. It's still awful. i used to smell it all the time picking up containers at the railyard in memphis because the farms down there use that stuff and they didn't plough either and it stunk like that all the time.

posted on Dec, 29 2011 @ 03:44 PM
stupid, stupid!@ everything that went into that human poop before it was fertilizer will now be in those foods, such as medications, chemicals, anything the body was exposed to. I had a friend who died of cancer, and her son was told after she died that her cancer meds could not even go into landfills , that they had to be flushed down the toilet. How many of those radioactive chemicals do you suppose are in that "fertilizer."?

posted on Dec, 29 2011 @ 03:49 PM
reply to post by thisguyrighthere

Sorry for the bit of OT, but when I read

I spent Christmas hearing about how nasty the pudding is because it contained suet from a guy eating stacks of bacon.

my first thought was the the pudding was made of suet that came from the guy eating stacks of bacon i.e. human suet.

posted on Dec, 29 2011 @ 04:18 PM
reply to post by butcherguy

Hey Buddy! You know more about feces than anyone I've ever met!!! lol. Seriously. How do you know so much about all this stuff? I buy bags of rotted cow manure to double dig my flower beds everyother year or so, but that's the extent of my information.

posted on Dec, 29 2011 @ 06:02 PM
reply to post by Nana2

By the time it's finished being processed? Probably very few/none. How many nasty chemicals do you suppose are in the more common non-biological fertilizers......?

posted on Dec, 29 2011 @ 06:21 PM

Originally posted by wutz4tom

It appears the argument is that fertilizer and treated human feces are not the same. But the story does not give any explanation as to the compound comparison.
Ofcourse this is just nasty, but are the chemicals in fertilizer any less dangerous?
Only thing I see is that "Granulite” is sewage sludge turned into dried pellets, 30 percent of which is made of human waste.
(visit the link for the full news article)

Europe's best pivot point in history is when they started using human feces on agriculture... there was a lot of waste.. and they needed a lot of food... so you do the math...

posted on Dec, 29 2011 @ 06:39 PM
Human waste!!! Is not truly waste it is wasted. Give back to the Earth that which comes from the Earth.
If one eats one's fellow creatures then as well as being a personal health hazard it takes a lot more time to break down into the substance of soil - approx 18 months when placed in the earth. Vegetation however breaks down into the substance of soil in a matter of a couple months and will yeild approx a third more crop and also warm the soil. If the soil is neglected by not feeding it with compost of any kind then eventually it will turn to sand.
When the waste or rather output is placed in the earth and covered it will not smell - if left upon the surface it will smell and attract flys.

posted on Dec, 29 2011 @ 06:41 PM

Originally posted by angeldoll
reply to post by butcherguy

Hey Buddy! You know more about feces than anyone I've ever met!!! lol. Seriously. How do you know so much about all this stuff? I buy bags of rotted cow manure to double dig my flower beds everyother year or so, but that's the extent of my information.
I work for an industrial equipment company and have had the opportunity to work in quite a few WWTF's.

On topic, I knew a man that was stationed in India during WWII. His indoctrination when he arrived there consisted mostly of hygiene lectures, with the main point being that the natives defecated wherever they were when they had to ' go'. I have been told by other military vets stationed in the Far East that the custom of taking one's shoes off before entering a home was done to avoid bringing human fecal matter into the home on the shoes, thereby preventing the spread of disease.

Each time I have the occasion to visit a WWTF, I ask what the strangest thing is that they have had come through with the sewage. Some will mention a fetus, one had a whole litter of puppies show up and the strangest one I have ever heard of was a plant in Allentown, PA that found half of a human brain! And no one reported half a brain missing.

An interesting fact about sewage is the abrasive qualities of pubic hair. It gathers together at pinch points and through the turbulence in the sludge being pumped in the piping, twists into what looks like yarn. I have seen that 'yarn' cut through brass fittings as it fluttered in the currents in the piping.

edit on 29-12-2011 by butcherguy because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 29 2011 @ 07:13 PM
I'm all for recycling.. it doesn't sound like a bad idea. If it looks, smells no different, and does the same job as animal based fertilizers... what is the problem?

Maybe some companies could start selling "celebrity" manur for charity. Imagine telling your neighbours that Mel Gibson grew your parsnips.

posted on Dec, 29 2011 @ 07:47 PM
My concern is how "natural" the human feces has become during the "sterilization" for the application as fertilizer for crops made for humans and it the "wildlife" might mistaken these pellets as foodstuff and if possible contamination would be absorbed by the crops.

Nonetheless, it's a good idea to recycle human feces for good use.

posted on Dec, 29 2011 @ 07:48 PM
Oh look, it's our unwanted guest, NIMBY!

We eat animals that are carved and scraped and hacked up in death factories.

We eat the food that animal # fertilizes.

Humans are a picky lot.

posted on Dec, 29 2011 @ 07:55 PM
This is a coming thing.
We definitly should be making better use of our natural resources.

Collecting containers from composting toilets could be the wave of the future.
This may be discussed on the humanure site, but here are some composting toilets.

posted on Dec, 29 2011 @ 08:01 PM
reply to post by pteridine

Interesting that you mentioned tomatoes.

Near Palmerton, PA, unsterilized sludge was used years ago to reclaim land that had been ruined by the operators of the Horsehead Zinc Mine located there. Mine tailings were dumped without regard for the environment for years, and there were miles of mountainside that had no vegetation on it.

After the unsterilized sludge was applied, vegetation appeared. The vegetation consisted mostly of tomato plants. Because the sludge was not sterilized, tomato seeds that had passed intact through human digestive tracts were still viable and germinated. The tomato plants flourished in their bed of human manure. When locals noticed the size of the fruits on these plants, they started picking and eating them.

I'm guessing these folks did not suffer from zinc deficiency for a while.

posted on Dec, 29 2011 @ 08:09 PM
reply to post by butcherguy

Thank you Butcherguy and everyone else for keeping this interesting!
Best Holiday wishes....

posted on Dec, 29 2011 @ 08:12 PM
reply to post by chuckk

I apologize because this is slighty off topic, but do you think that facility could be the reason that Ontario, CA sometimes smells like a barnyard? Of course, I haven't been there in a couple years but I remember there were days that the smell was almost unbearable. I always wondered what caused it.

posted on Dec, 29 2011 @ 08:18 PM
Ah, devolution is still going on strong it seems.

For centuries, human waste was considered what it really is: fertilizer, no different than any other fertilizer. Farmers typically kept cows around for milk, meat, and fertilizer. The same with pigs (except for milk of course) and chickens. The only difference between animals in respect to their fertilizer contributions was intensity. Chicken fertilizer is strong enough to burn crops if spread on directly, so it was used after harvest and allowed to soak into the soil during winter. Cow fertilizer could be used directly if used sparingly.

Somehow, we became 'civilized' and someone decided that waste products were 'bad' and food was supposed to be 'pure'. About the same time, we began experiencing more and more dangerous diseases. Now we have cleanly-processed genetically-modified surgically-sterilized food and massive plants that chemically treat our 'bad waste products' into 'clean water'. We have heavy metals in our diet, medical compounds that do crazy things to the biological processes within us, and more medicines to treat what the last medicines did. We dump things into landfills that are made of plastic, a material that lasts thousands of years, while we build our homes out of wood, which decays rapidly. And we brag about our progress.


My dog can pee on a neighbor's flowers and she raves as though he was spraying Round-Up... all the while spreading cow manure around them she bought in a bag from a store labeled with a silly name brand. I have seen municipal water tested, mislabeled as though it were well water, and stamped "Unfit for Human Consumption". We aren't making progress; we're losing ground. When you flush your toilet, things don't simply disappear into the void... it makes the grass greener around the field lines from the septic tank. Heck, that's actually how we locate field lines when we forget where we put them years ago.

My daddy buried our field lines directly below our garden plot when he built this place. Amazingly, we didn't die and rarely got sick even. Much rarer than those who lived in town. And we always had plenty of food.

Here's an idea: let's have all food grown carry a label stating clearly what types of fertilizer was used on it. Someone eat only food without any natural waste products, and I'll volunteer to eat only food using natural waste products. Let's see who fares better.

Incidentally, here's a perfect idea for reducing potato and peanut prices: tell these educated idiots complaining about human fertilizer that potatoes and peanuts grow in dirt. They'll stop eating them out of disgust and leave more for the rest of us.

(smoker, drinker, caffeine-addict, cellphone-to-head-holder, cholesterol-soaked, manure-spreader who has managed to not die for a half century)

Wow, that came out as a rant... sorry all. Some things just make my blood boil.

posted on Dec, 29 2011 @ 08:28 PM

Originally posted by gemineye
reply to post by chuckk

I apologize because this is slighty off topic, but do you think that facility could be the reason that Ontario, CA sometimes smells like a barnyard? Of course, I haven't been there in a couple years but I remember there were days that the smell was almost unbearable. I always wondered what caused it.
Probably is the reason.

A properly operated treatment plant does not put out offensive odors. I have been in plants that were located in suburban areas and they were completely surrounded by upscale housing developments.... with no odor complaints.

The cause of odors outside of the confines of the facility is usually due to the facility being over it's capacity. The WWTF for Reading, PA is located a mile away from the city but for years was a nearly constant source of odor complaints for miles around. It was not a good stink at all.

posted on Dec, 29 2011 @ 08:41 PM
reply to post by wutz4tom

Explanation: S&F!

Personal Disclosure: OL runs up to the Ghost of the Crow sifu ...

"Master Brandon Lee ... what is the secret to life?

"EAT 'Crap' ... OR DIE!"

Thank you sifu Master Brandon Lee!

Seems the martial artists have known this fact for a long time as well!

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