PAOLA — It just got a lot more expensive for Paola to dispose of biosolids at its wastewater treatment plant.
After first discussing the issue at a work session, Paola City Council members in December approved a bid from Denali Water Solutions to dispose of the biosolids at a rate of $49 per ton, including hauling.
Paola’s wastewater treatment plant produces an average of 560 tons of biosolids each year, which puts the new annual cost of removal at more than $27,000.
Previously, the city contracted with individuals who hauled off the biosolids, also referred to as dried and processed sludge, to apply it to farmland at an annual cost of about $6,000.
Biosolids are the nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from the treatment of domestic sewage in a wastewater treatment facility, and City Manager Jay Wieland said they can be a valuable fertilizer to spread on fields.
City officials, though, said it has become difficult to get the individuals to come and remove the biosolids, so it was necessary to seek another option.
“We have to have a disposal method for this,” Wieland said.
City leaders also considered utilizing the Miami County landfill for disposal, but that annual cost would have been more than $50,000.