ACUA News

November 24, 2014

Atlantic County Utilities Authority Awarded Platinum-Level Recognition for its Biosolids Management Program

Based on internationally recognized standards; ACUA’s system provides a model for continuous improvement

The Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) has been awarded Platinum-Level Recognition from the National Biosolids Partnership (NBP). The NBP is operated by the Water Environment Federation (WEF), in collaboration with the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The NBP serves as a clearinghouse on effective biosolids practices and offers an Environmental Management System (EMS) program that requires participating organizations to go beyond regulatory requirements.

Biosolids are the solid or semisolid material obtained from treated wastewater. “Biosolids are not something you normally read about in the paper,” said ACUA President Rick Dovey. “Our program was first recognized by the NBP program with a Bronze certificate in 2012. To the general public, this might not sound too exciting, but we were really proud of this award, because it was the culmination of a huge undertaking. We signed onto the National Biosolids Program in order to examine our existing management practices for biosolids. We looked carefully at each and every step of the wastewater treatment process, as well as other related areas. The process required us to look at things like how we train employees and even how we share information with the public,” Dovey explained.

After careful review of existing processes and procedures, the ACUA developed best management practices for everything that is done at the wastewater treatment facility. The Biosolids Management Program provides a framework for continual review. “This helps us to identify and investigate new opportunities for improvement,” Dovey noted. “Because of this, we have been able to achieve Silver, Gold and now Platinum certification, the highest level of recognition awarded by this respected group of agencies. This award reflects ACUA’s commitment to efficient management and effective operations, which benefit the public and help us to control costs.”

The NBP Biosolids Management Program (BMP) is based on internationally recognized standards for an Environmental Management System/International Organization of Standardization (ISO 14001). With guidance from biosolids professionals, experts, and leading biosolids management organizations, the NBP has created a management program tailored to the priorities and needs of the wastewater profession. It serves as a model for continuous improvement in the areas of environmental performance, regulatory compliance, quality management practices, and relations with interested parties and other stakeholders.

Click here for more information on the ACUA’s biosolids management system or visit the National Biosolids Partnership website

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