Biosolid storage facility opens at Molly Caren Ag Center

A new biosolid storage facility opened at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center (MCAC) in London. On hand for the ribbon-cutting were: (from left) Jerry Ussher, London waste water superintendent; London Mayor Pat Closser; Matt Sullivan, MCAC superintendent; and Graham Cochran, associate dean with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

(Posted Sept. 23, 2020)

The Molly Caren Agricultural Center (MCAC), also known as the Farm Science Review grounds, and the city of London held a grand opening for a new biosolid storage facility on Sept. 22. The facility is the result of the long-time partnership between the two entities.

To be more efficient in the storage of exceptional quality biosolids produced by the city’s wastewater plant, London officials met with MCAC staff in November 2018 to propose the idea of constructing a storage facility on the agricultural grounds. MCAC has long used the city’s biosolids in its farming operations, applying the product to its farm ground during the month September, after crops are harvested during the annual Farm Science Review show.

Per Ohio Environmental Protection Agency requirements, if these biosolids are not applied to agricultural land within 90 days of the initial storage date, they must be stored at a regional storage facility where they can remain for up to two years.

Nearly two years after commencement of the project, the Exceptional Quality Biosolid Storage Facility located at MCAC is ready for operational use, with close proximity to the city of London, allowing other approved biosolid applicators to have access to the storage facility during normal business hours.

With the new facility, the city’s wastewater solids are available and free to farmers to pick up for use as fertilizer on their fields. The facility can be filled to half capacity within a week and three-quarters capacity within a year. “The building is never filled completely because the farmers have to have dry land to apply the solids to their fields. During the rainy season, if they cannot use it, the biosolid facility has to backstock it until the farmers can use it,” Ussher explained.

“Our county has a rich heritage in agriculture and these types of projects will help ensure that tradition will continue, and recycling these materials is a win for the environment, the city of London and local farmers,” said London Mayor Patrick Closser. “This is also a prime example of how partnerships, like ours with The Ohio State University Molly Caren Agricultural Center, can grow and truly make a difference.”

A frequent partner in local community projects, MCAC will also now have 24/7 access to a low-cost, organic biosolid material that can be a substitute for commercial fertilizer.

“The Molly Caren Agricultural Center has used these Class A biosolids for several years and seen the benefit in our soils and crops,” said Matt Sullivan, MCAC superintendent. “We look forward to this partnership and having this resource available for our facility and the agricultural region.”

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