Hasibul Hasan

Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Charles Moretti


The Grand Forks Waste Water Treatment Plant (GFWWTP) is currently sending its waste activated sludge (WAS) from the activated sludge treatment process to an existing on-site wastewater treatment lagoon which has been in operation since 2003. The plant produces approximately 65,000 gallons of WAS per day. Because of this high level of loading, the existing lagoon system is likely to get replaced by a more sustainable treatment option. Several methods were considered and studied thoroughly for this research, and - on site land application shows some potential. After surveying the Municipal Waste Water Treatment Facilities of the five neighboring states of North Dakota, no specific method was obviously "the strongest solution" for the biosolids' scenario of the GFWWTP. To investigate the feasibility of land application of sludge on

agricultural field, several GIS maps using land survey data, water table data, and depth of the soil layer data were prepared. Use of sludge as fertilizers according to EPA regulations on different types of land was also studied. Demand of sludge as fertilizer to the local community was considered for this study. A study of the GFWWTP sludge characteristics shows lack of desired levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in it. So, composting seemed to be a less desirable option as it requires the presence of higher amount nitrogen and phosphorus. For composting, sludge quality may also need to be class A which adds more to the cost. Moreover, as the fertility of land around Grand Forks is high, composting did not seem to be promising. Incineration, which is a common management method for sludge in Minnesota, would not be preferred from the environmental perspective. Considering sludge quality, economical aspect, control, demand of sludge as fertilizer, land fertility, and EPA regulations, both land application and disposal in landfill site(s) seemed to be the most promising alternatives for sludge management.