The City of Ketchum agreed unanimously to contribute $5,296 to a composting study that both Hailey and Bellevue are also a part of.

The study, being conducted by HDR Biosolids, is necessary for the development of an operations plan to dispose of the biosolids created by the Ketchum/Sun Valley Water and Sewer District waste water treatment plant, according to a city memo on May 4.

Due to a policy change by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality last year, biosolids can no longer be disposed of at the Ohio Gulch Waste Transfer Station. The city of Hailey commissioned HDR Engineering to perform the study as an amendment to an already existing engineering contract with HDR, according to the memo.

The study will help to determine whether or not biosolids, or the sewage sludge, can be dried and reused as fertilizer. Currently, the dried sludge gets removed from the drying lagoons at Ohio Gulch Waste Transfer Station and gets used as ground cover at the construction demolition disposal area.

The initiative will align with Ketchum’s 2020 Sustainability Action Plan by working with regional and local agencies to evaluate further options for disposal and beneficial uses for biosolids.

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