Biosolids plan raises groundwater concerns in Centre County

As the following article shows, residents are becoming more aware of source water protection zones that safeguard their families’ drinking water supply. And in the case of one town in Centre County, Pennsylvania, a mom is demanding restrictions for spreading biosolids, an activity she believes may possibly pollute the groundwater that feeds the public water supply to her family home. The County Planning Commission also weighed in stating that there are other locations where biosolids can be applied that are not within sensitive source water protection zones.

Here is the story from the Centre Daily Times:
Burnside Township sludge spray plan raises stink, spurs groundwater concerns

Rachel Guenot moved to Pine Glen, the Burnside Township community where her husband grew up, eight years ago for quiet, rural living.

She’s still in the countryside. But these days, her neck of the woods isn’t so peaceful.

Guenot is among the township residents opposed to a company’s plan to spread biosolids, a term for treated municipal sewage sludge, on former mining land about a mile from Pine Glen’s main water source.

WeCare Organics, based in Jordan, N.Y., proposes bringing Canadian biosolid material to the property, stabilizing it with lime and mixing it in soil to help neutralize acid runoff and promote the growth of vegetation for mine reclamation.

The state Department of Environmental Protection recently approved the plan despite the concerns of township supervisors and residents that the biosolids could contaminate Pine Glen’s water supply.

WeCare Organic’s proposed project, covering about 150 acres of private property, falls in Pine Glen’s source water protection zone, though it’s in the farthest of three zones from the water supply, the Big Sterling Spring pumphouse.

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