The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) to collaborate on effectively utilizing sewage sludge as a biosolid for Agricultural use.
MOA states that they will develop standards for sewage sludge to be used as bio-solids in Fiji while WAF will provide the sludge samples for testing.
“This MOU will allow us to collaborate with the Ministry and make use of sewage waste, after making it safe, to boost the agriculture sector,” said WAF Chief Executive Officer, Barry Omundson.
“This is a great opportunity for Fiji to reduce its carbon footprint and utilize something that is currently being treated as waste.”
WAF operates a total of eleven wastewater treatment plants throughout the country where sludge is collected as solid waste from the wastewater treatment, with approximately 450,000 kilograms of sludge generated at WAF’s largest wastewater treatment plant in Kinoya, annually.
“Currently all the sludge is being treated as waste and we spend millions of dollars dewatering the sludge, only for it to be not put to use. Storage is an issue, at the moment, and taking the sludge to a landfill is very costly.”
Mr. Omundson acknowledged the Agriculture Ministry for their contribution and support.
“We look forward to working with the Ministry as we move along with this project and I thank them for their contribution and support.”
Permanent Secretary for the Ministry for Agriculture, Mr. Ritesh Dass said that the Ministry plays a vital role in carrying out technical responsibility as well as administrative responsibility to set up bio-solids use standards in Fiji.
“MOA will provide analysis on the sludge, test results will be shared with WAF and if the sludge is well within the required standards for sewage sludge, the bio-solids can then be suitable and used for agricultural purposes,” Mr. Dass explained.