Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor 1

Jennifer Becker

Advisor 2

Eric Seagren

Committee Member 1

Robert Handler


Producing Class A biosolids is a beneficial way to reuse wastewater sludge. Low-cost, low-tech (LCLT) processes are attractive to small water resource recovery facilities (WRRF) because of their low capital costs and simple designs. This study examined the sustainability of conventional and LCLT processes at small WRRFs. The environmental impacts were determined by conducting life cycle assessments. Cost analyses determined the economic impacts. The social impacts were analyzed by investigating case studies and surveys of social response to biosolids. The environmental, economic, and social impacts were normalized, and each technology received an overall score. The technologies studied were direct heat drying, composting, lagoon storage, air drying, and TPAD. Preliminary results indicated that composting, direct heat drying and lagoon storage had the most significant environmental impacts. The majority of impacts are from biogenic emissions. Composting and direct heat drying scored the worst overall while air drying and TPAD scored the best.