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News Release
News Date: May 23, 2022

Columbus Hosts National Conference on Biosolids

Division of Sewerage and Drainage Program Highlighted 

The city’s unique and beneficial mix of biosolids utilization is a key reason Columbus is hosting this week’s Residuals and Biosolids Conference 2022. The Department of Public Utilities is assisting the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the Ohio Water Environment Association (OWEA) in organizing the three-day event, which begins Tuesday, May 24 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. 

“This is a national conference, and WEF selected Columbus as the location this year in large part due to the Division of Sewerage and Drainage’s progressive and very successful biosolids program,” noted Department of Public Utilities Director Kristen Atha. The conference includes a tour of the Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant and nearby Compost Facility on May 26. 

The city’s current mix of beneficial biosolids use includes:
- A program that reclaims strip-mined lands in eastern Ohio to grow poplar trees for mulch
- Agricultural land application
- Waste to energy through anaerobic digestion
- The city’s own Com-Til products – organic fertilizers, mulches, and soil conditioners – produced at the Compost Facility:

Columbus is one of very few cities that can claim 100% beneficial reuse of biosolids and residuals for several consecutive years. 

The technical program at this week’s conference includes presentations that cover regulatory trends, innovation, and the benefits and challenges of biosolids disposal. More details can be found here: