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The Washington DC water treatment plant appears to use sedimentation tanks for both treating water before consumption and for treating sewage that is then discharged.

My question: What happens to the sedimentation after it is collects? None of the articles that I have read discuss this.

It seems to me that the sediment in the water source won't necessarily be toxic, but I suspect that the sediment in the sewage contains a brew of toxic metals and organics. So does that need to be treated as toxic waste? Is the source sediment used for fertilizer, or is it just sent to a landfill? Is there an issue with dust?

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I was part of a team of contractors to remove and spread the dried sediment from a water treatment facility - the sediment was a red cake/ powder and was spread on the fields as fertiliser.

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  • $\begingroup$ Milwaukee WI sells it as Milorganite fertilizer . I filled a pick-up truck with it at a Cook Co ( Chicago IL) treatment plant. It was free garden fertilizer, but it took some paint off the truck bed. Interestingly , tomato seeds made it through the treatment ( decades ago). $\endgroup$ – blacksmith37 Feb 10 '19 at 21:31

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