Englewood City Council approved a contract establishing a per-acre rate farmers will pay for the Littleton/Englewood Wastewater Treatment Plant to …
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Englewood City Council approved a contract establishing a
per-acre rate farmers will pay for the Littleton/Englewood
Wastewater Treatment Plant to apply what is called biosolids, a dry
material from the treatment process, as fertilizer on land used to
The plant owns rural property near Byers and Bennett. In the
past, utility officials have worked with local residents who raise
wheat on the land with a third of the proceeds of the sale of the
wheat going to the plant.
Weather and market levels impact the proceeds from the crop so
the amount of money the plant received varied from about $158,000
to a loss of $6,700. The average plant proceeds were about $69,000
The March 7 agreement established a flat $8-an-acre payment to
the plant for the use of the land, which means the plant will
receive about $50,000 in lease payments annually.
“In the past, the amount the plant would receive would vary
depending on market value for the wheat and the size of the crop
production,” said Stu Fonda, utilities director. “This proposal
will continue to allow effective use of the biosolid materials and
provide a stabilized income from the crops.”
He noted the previous agreement was to split the proceeds of the
sale of the crop into thirds with one-third covering the farming
costs, one-third going to the farmer and one-third going to the
plant. Under this contract, farmers play a flat $8 an acre fee to
use the land and all proceeds from the crops go to them.
Biosolid is the material remaining after the treatment process.
It has been repeatedly tested by laboratories at Colorado State
University and found to be safe to use as fertilizer for wheat
farming. The plant also has received Environmental Protection
Agency awards for the beneficial use of the biosolids.
The plant is jointly owned by the cities of Englewood and
Littleton and is a regional facility serving about 300,000
customers. From 1955-1996, the city councils approved spending the
money to purchase about 6,400 acres of rural land near Byers. They
also had a contract to use an estimated 900 acres of land near
Bennett but have now used that site for biosolid distribution.
“Part of the land is allowed to sit idle each year,” said Jim
Tallent, plant operations division manage. “That means we only
spread the solids on a portion of our land. Last year, for example,
we spread 3,500 dry tons of biosolids on about 2,100 acres of farm
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