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Biosolids project 95 percent complete

As the Port Orchard Wastewater Treatment Plant’s upgrade nears completion, several additional projects are sharing the limelight.

The plant’s Class-A Biosolids Project is 95 percent complete. The process is relatively simple and the treated material will soon be in demand with everyone from farmers to everyday gardeners.

“As our raw sewage sludge comes in, it takes the material and runs it through a digestion process that stabilizes it,” explained plant manager John Poppe last year.

“The biosolids produced through this digestion process are considered Class-B biosolids,” Poppe said, making the material safe for use on orchards and fields. However, Poppe’s new design is a relatively uncomplicated way to turn Class-B into Class-A.

Karcher Creek Sewer District General Manager Dick Fitzwater said Class-A Biosolids are treated at a higher temperature — about 150 degrees. Poppe’s project was expected to be running early this year, but Fitzwater said there were problems.

“The heat-treat digester system was supposed to be online in March, but we had manufacturing problems,” Fitzwater said. “We couldn’t get the stainless steel piping we needed.”

Poppe said Class-A biosolids can be used by the general public as fertilizer for lawns and root plants. Fitzwater said Poppe is also working with operators of several local gravel pits who want to use the biosolid material after gravel is pulled from the pit to provide the nutrients necessary or their revitalization.

“The construction is going along pretty well,” Fitzwater said. The upgrade itself is approximately 80 percent complete.

“They’re currently installing pumps, blowers and other equipment, along with pulling the wires necessary for the electrical functions and installing piping,” Fitzwater said.

The odor-control covers are also being installed.

“We’re beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Fitzwater said.

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