Strict Adherence To Governmental Regulations
Soil Stability and Pathogen Destruction
N-Viro Soil Amendment differs from a “Class B” soil amendment because the N-Viro Process destroys all pathogens through a combination of the following main stressors:
1. alkaline pH,
2. high temperature,
3. high ammonia concentration,
4. accelerated drying, and,
5. Indigenous micro-flora.
Pathogen destruction begins when alkaline admixture is combined with the biosolids. The high alkalinity contributes to stresses #1, #2, and,#3. Extremely fine particle size and low moisture content allow accelerated drying to take place (stress #4). As with compost, thermophilic temperatures (52°C - 62°C) and a soil like environment contribute to the growth of indigenous micro-organisms that suppress the re-growth of pathogens and putrefying organisms (stress #5). The relatively high population of soil organisms in the final product (103 to 107 /gram) produces a slow composting in the material in which degradable organics from the biosolids are stabilized.
The chart below compares NVSA against other natural soil amendments that are typically used in agriculture. As shown, NVSA has the lowest pathogen content by far.
N-Viro Soil Amendment Meets or Exceeds Rigorous EPA Standards
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established standards that regulate biosolids and outline criteria for the safe use of products derived from biosolids. These standards are set forth in EPA Part 503 Regulations and include “Exceptional Quality Biosolids (EQS)” criteria, which establish the most stringent restrictions on pathogens, metal content and product stability. These regulations allow EQS products to be licensed, registered and managed as agricultural resources. The N-Viro Soil trademark specifications meet or exceed all requirements for an EQS product.
Products are examined on a regular basis for microbiological properties to ensure their acceptability as exceptional quality (EQ), or Class A, under the US EPA 503 Regulations. CFIA, which administers the Federal Fertilizers Act, has adopted the USA EPA limits for pathogen destruction.
The results show that the product meets US EPA 503 limits. The total bacteria figure, often referred to as the "good bugs", is a measure of the active soil organisms. It can be seen that, shortly after production, "N-Viro Soil” has an active soil culture approaching that of natural soil.
QA/QC Monitoring Program
N-Viro has established a multi-stage quality analysis and control (QA/QC) monitoring program as a quantitative approach to N-Viro Soil Quality Assurance. The monitoring program involves the following procedures and testing:
Dewatered Biosolids Cake – Metals Characterization
This stage involves a baseline evaluation of the incoming biosolids to determine the characteristics of the material entering the N-Viro process. In this stage, N-Viro analyzes the biosolids for regulated trace metals which often include:
Arsenic, Cadmium, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Lead, Mercury, Molybdenum, Nickel, Selenium, and Zinc.
Information obtained from the wastewater treatment plants can be used as the baseline information as well as regular monitoring for this portion of the protocol.
Alkaline Admixture Characterization
This stage involves an evaluation of the AA raw material to determine the characteristics of the AA material going into the N-Viro Process. In this stage N-Viro analyzes for the concentrations of the eleven regulated trace metals noted above. We perform this test on a quarterly basis and at any time there are changes in production methods.
Evaluation of N-Viro Soil Amendment
This stage involves an evaluation of the final product to determine the total concentration of eleven regulated trace metals. In this stage, N-Viro also exams microbiological parameters including:
1. total aerobic bacteria,
2. salmonella, and,
3. fecal coliforms.
N-Viro Soil is tested upon plant start-up then quarterly thereafter to ensure it is within the prescribed standards for Class A designation.
Ongoing Process Monitoring for Process Control
This stage will monitor daily production as part of a program to maintain process control. The following information is collected and logged:
a) pH of the material in the heat-pulse cells to ensure it is above 12,
b) temperature of material in the heat-pulse cells to ensure a proper curing temperature is maintained, and,
c) percent total solids of final product, dewatered cake, mixed solids, and alkaline admixture percent dosage to ensure consistency, and,
d) dryer inlet and outlet temperature to ensure pathogens are subject to high temperatures
Standard Agricultural Evaluation
This stage involves an evaluation of the final product to determine the total concentrations of the following agronomic factors and ensure product consistency:
a) Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorous (N, P, K),
b) TNV (total neutralizing value),
c) Total calcium, magnesium, and sulfur, and,
d) Readily-digestible organic matter content.