Letter: No more sludge in Gilmanton

Thursday, March 08, 2018
No more sludge in Gilmanton

The other day, a friend of mine referred to our town as “Gil-SLUDGE-manton.” But why “Gil-SLUDGE-manton”?

In 2016, Resource Management Inc. confirmed in a letter that it delivered more than 2,600 “wet tons” of biosolids (a.k.a. sludge) to Gilmanton. I do not have the totals for 2017, but based on the truckloads I saw I can’t imagine that it was any less.

There is a terrible odor from sludge, but the worst is that no one can guarantee it is safe. Sludge is “any solid, semisolid or liquid waste generated from municipal, commercial or industrial waste water treatment plant” (EPA RCAA 26A).

Contaminants could include hazardous waste, chemicals, viruses, bacteria and heavy metals. Waste water treatment plants have guidelines to meet, but during a tour of the Concord facility I asked if all of the viruses and bacteria were eliminated. The response was that “some bacteria is good.” That is not a guarantee.

I appreciate our local farmers who do not rely on sludge to replenish their soil. The few who do should find a better solution. The health and welfare of our families, neighbors, pets, wildlife, water and land is too valuable to risk.

On March 13, please join me and vote “yes” on Article 4 to ban the use of biosolids (Class A and Class B) in our town.