Skip to page body Home Customer Service How To Environment Projects & Programs About Us

News Releases

News Review
SFPUC’s Biosolids Program Earns Platinum Level Recognition
The certification reflects the agency’s commitment to excellence in Biosolids Management and continued evolution toward resource recovery
Posted Date: 10/25/2018 12:00 PM

San Francisco, CA—The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), is celebrating the platinum level certification for their Biosolids Management System (BMS) from the National Biosolids Partnership (NBP) for a third consecutive year.

“We take our mission of being responsible stewards of the environment seriously,” said SFPUC General Manager Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. "Our biosolids program is an excellent example of our agency’s commitment to shifting from wastewater treatment toward resource recovery.”

Biosolids are the nutrient-rich soil-like product of the wastewater treatment process that can be used as a synthetic fertilizer replacement and soil amendment. Decades of research and use by farmers across North America demonstrate that biosolids are an effective way to convert waste into resources by improving soils and enhancing crop growth, and by returning valuable carbon and nutrients back to the land.

The SFPUC's biosolids program received certification this month. The recognition indicates the SFPUC has made continuous improvement in the areas of environmental and regulatory compliance, quality management practices and engagement with interested parties and stakeholders.

San Francisco’s biosolids program first received Platinum Certification in June 2016, following a rigorous review process by a third-party independent audit. To maintain certification, the program staff conducted annual internal audits and met the high standards required at each step of the treatment process by the NBP. This is a voluntary program, prescribed by the NBP’s Code of Good Practice, which helps build public confidence and trust between communities and biosolids producers. Fewer than 25 programs nationwide have achieved this level of recognition.

In 2017, the SFPUC produced 63,000 tons of biosolids, which were used to create biofertilizer, applied to pasture lands as a synthetic fertilizer replacement and deployed as a soil alternative when covering landfills. The SFPUC has pledged that 100 percent of biosolids will be used for beneficial endeavors.

The SFPUC is committed to reinvesting in the Biosolids program. As part of the SFPUC’s Sewer System Improvement Program, the SFPUC approved the Biosolids Digester Facilities Project (BDFP), which will replace and relocate the aged existing solids treatment facilities with more reliable, efficient and modern technologies. This upgrade will further the Southeast Plant’s transition from a waste treatment facility to a modern resource recovery center, a City destination, a proud neighborhood asset and an attractive workplace.

About the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is a department of the City and County of San Francisco. It delivers drinking water to 2.7 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area, collects and treats wastewater for the City and County of San Francisco, and generates clean power for municipal buildings, residents, and businesses. Our mission is to provide our customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to our care. Learn more at