An overload of sludge caused by the closure of a disposal facility in Prince George's County forced the County Council yesterday to approve two new sites on which to spread the sewage residue.
The council sent a letter to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, owner of the sewage-treatment facilities in the county, endorsing the travel routes for trucks to haul sludge from Washington's Blue Plains treatment facility to two privately owned properties in Brandywine.
The county receives 350 tons of sludge daily from Blue Plains and had intended to cure the material into compost at the WSSC's new $4 million Western Branch plant in Upper Marlboro. But that facility was closed as a public nuisance Sept. 21 when the still-unfinished plant was overloaded with improperly treated sludge that caused severe odor problems.
A 50-acre sand and gravel pit in Brandywine has been handling the county's sludge since the shutdown, but the council was informed that location now is full.
The two new sites, a 200-acre area just north of the county line and a 60-acre sand and gravel pit owned by the Washington Gas Light Company, have long-standing permits from the Maryland Health Department to accept sludge, said Dennis Bigley, an environmental specialist for the County Council. The two areas were chosen by Environmental Reclamation company, a Glen Burnie firm that is paid by the WSSC to find private sites for sludge dumping, he added.