Material Matters, Inc. | Services

Material Matters offers a range of services relating to all aspects of wastewater solids and residuals beneficial use, including product management, process optimization, demonstration trials and research studies, regulatory permitting, and regulation compliance. We serve private and municipal clients across the United States, most recently in the following states: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Ohio, New York, Tennessee, North Carolina, Iowa, and California.

Material Manager

Material Manager

Consistent and accurate, the Material Manager™ database application will assist you in managing all the biosolids data you are required to collect. Simple keystrokes enable you to calculate agronomic loading rates, view real-time status of operations, create and print regulatory reports, and more. Our biosolids and residuals experts will install the Material Manager™ database application on your system and provide training and comprehensive support.

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Permitting

Permitting

Material Matters personnel have extensive experience with preparing and submitting state and federal permit application packages. We have helped many clients obtain/renew coverage under existing Waste Management and/or Water Quality General Permits, and have also helped develop new General Permits and individual permits to fulfill clients' unique (solids management and water quality) operational needs. During the permit application process, we work closely with our clients to make sure their needs are met, and to provide assistance with responding to feedback from regulatory agencies. A sample of accepted permits application packages include: NPDES, WMGR, WMGM, PAG-07, and PAG-08.

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Pilot Studies

Pilot Studies

Pilot studies, also known as feasibility studies, are small scale preliminary studies conducted to evaluate whether a technology is appropriate for a given application. Because each wastewater treatment plant is unique in flow, influent characteristics, nutrient loading, and set up, it is critical to conduct a pilot study of a selected technology to avoid wasted time and money on a technology unable to meet the plant's needs. Material Matters has assisted a number of clients with various pilot studies to evaluate both innovative (i.e. electro-dewatering) and tried-and-true technologies (i.e. lime addition, in-direct thermal drying) at their plants.

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Research

Research

At Material Matters, we recognize the importance of providing scientific support through research to develop creative solutions for everyday problems and to support innovative technologies new to the industry. We have assisted clients with the development and execution of research projects to solve operational challenges, to provide support to regulatory agencies, and to provide evidence for to support or overturn well established assumptions in the water and wastewater industries.

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Odor

Odor

Odors from biosolids have become an important concern for utilities, especially during staging, storage and/or land application activities. Material Matters is experienced in identifying and evaluating product and site malodors, and assisting clients with resolving odor problems. Olfactometry evaluation techniques including Multi-Assessor Repeat Observation with Field Olfactometry equipment, have been implemented to assess odors and their impact on surrounding areas, including air modeling software.

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Biosolids Quality

Biosolids Quality

Poor biosolids quality, which includes malodor, poor stackability, and inconsistency, is the quickest way to unravel or encumber a successful biosolids program. Material Matters has assisted many with biosolids improvement projects, and offer a wide range of services to assist with biosolids quality improvement. Our biosolids quality work includes, but is not limited to, conducting odor evaluations, optimizing wastewater treatment plant operations, assisting with selecting biosolids technologies, conducting pilot testing, and assisting with permitting processes selected to improve biosolids quality.

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Innovative Use

Innovative Use

At Material Matters, we are always eager to investigate innovative biosolids uses that are both environmentally conscientious and economically viable. We have experience with evaluating the scale and regional suitability for the project, developing permit application packages, and working with local permitting agencies on behalf of our clients. Certain publications, such as mine land reclamation foster these technologies, such as Deep Row Hybrid Poplar Biomass Farming, a "trench and go" operation where trenches are excavated, biosolids are delivered and immediately covered, and hybrid poplars are planted. The fast growing trees stabilize and neutralize the soil, and can be harvested within 10 years.

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Land Application Management

Land Application Management

Material Matters assists clients with implementing self-managed beneficial use land application programs. In developing the program, we work closely with our clients to develop a plan that meets their short-term and long term needs. Our services include reviewing and revising (if necessary) the current biosolids sampling plan, preparing a system to acquire biosolids data, setting up a load tracking and data management system, and establishing transportation and farmer payment system. We also support clients with locating and qualifying land application (farm) sites, compiling and submitting paperwork for farms, and coordinating with PADEP staff. In many cases, we will continue to work with our clients to assist with ongoing services such as arranging transportation, developing agronomic rates, conducting fieldwork, and corresponding with PADEP personnel.

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Solids Master Planning

Solids Master Planning

A critical component of Solids Master Planning publications is completing a market assessment to establish the ultimate use(s) for the final product. Material Matters has extensive experience assisting Class B and Class A/EQ biosolids generators and other residual materials with market evaluation to: determine potential market interest; identify new and existing uses; define characteristics and enhancements of a regionally demanded product; determine net positive and negative pricing and all costs associated with use (enhancements and outside the gate costs); and ultimately, assist with selecting a technology that will produce a marketable, cost effective product.

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Operational Optimizations

Operational Optimizations

Each day, wastewater treatment plant operators are faced with a new set of variables that can impact both the wet side and solids handling aspects of the plant. Optimizing various operations can aid in nutrient removal to meet regulatory requirements, and can also greatly enhance biosolids product characteristics. Material Matters has conducted many plant evaluations, and has assisted numerous clients with product and effluent enhancements. Our comprehensive evaluations includes a review of historical and current operational data and conducting site visits to evaluate current plant operations and laboratory analytical procedures. Based on our findings, optimization may include adjusting pumping or chemical feed rates, or adjusting sampling techniques. Ultimately, we are seeking to create a high quality process to generate a high quality product.

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Industrial Pretreatment

Industrial Pretreatment

As part of United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)-approved municipal industrial pretreatment programs (MIPPs), utilities impose discharge limits, known as “local limits” on industrial wastewater discharged by significant and categorical industrial users to their wastewater treatment plants. Utilities are required by USEPA to periodically review and update these local limits to ensure they are appropriate. Material Matters personnel have extensive experience conducting re-evaluation of local limits, which includes establishing “pollutants of concern,” developing sampling plans to gather additional data, calculating the maximum allowable headworks loads (MAHLs) and maximum allowable industrial loads (MAILs), and assisting with development and implementation of appropriate local limits.

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Environmental Managment Systems (EMS)

Environmental Management Systems

Material Matters participated in the first two national audits conducted as part of the National Biosolids Partnership’s (NBP) Environmental Management System (EMS), as a subcontractor to KEMA Quality Registrars. The audits were conducted at Orange County, CA and the City of Los Angeles, CA facilities. The 17 elements of the biosolids program audit include management policy, critical control points, public participation and communication, among others. Material Matters’ staff includes one of the original 10 certified nationally to conduct NBP EMS biosolids audits. We have also assisted multiple clients with the training and internal auditing needed to obtain and maintain the NBP EMS designation.

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Residuals Management

Residuals Management

While Material Matters is very well known for our experience with biosolids, we also have extensive experience in permitting, managing, and enhancing the product quality of various residuals products including coproducts, food processing residuals, and water treatment residuals. Our experice includes but is not limited to: auditing land applcation progams, conducting beneficial use evaluations, developing beneficial use permits unique to a particular product, assisting with responding to regulatory questions, and land application management and oversight.

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Nutrient Trading

Nutrient Trading

Pennsylvania wastewater treatment plants are required to meet their NPDES total nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) cap load limits, which have been established to reduce N, P, and sediment loading into the Chesapeake Bay. Treatment plants who cannot meet these limits must purchase "credits" from other facilities, or face a fine for incompliance. Material Matters has assisted many clients meet their nutrient credit needs by (1) identifying other wastewater treatment plants (point sources) interested in buying or selling credits and (2) negotiating contract language and pricing based on historical data gathered from PADEP records and a comprehensive market survey. Additionally, we have assisted clients to meet their credit needs with farm (non-point source) nutrient credits generated by implementing best management practices.

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Data Management

Data Management

Material Matters brought to the market place in 2004 Material Manager™ , a relational database management application. This program assists wastewater treatment facilities with managing, record-keeping, and reporting to help assure their biosolids programs comply with state and federal regulations. The program can be easily customized to meet specific state agronomic and reporting needs, and has been modified for use in 11 states nationally.

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Biosolids Marketing

Biosolids Marketing

High quality, Class A Exceptional Quality (EQ) biosolids are a valuable source of organic matter and micronutrients, and have a proven track records as a quality fertilizer, soil amendment, and alternative energy source. Material Matters has assisted clients market their products by conducting market surveys, developing marketing materials, and assisting with branding and logo development. Additionally, we have conducted pilot studies and product demonstrations with local businesses to gain credibility and business support. These marketing, demonstration, and surveying efforts have lead to developing a demanded, sellable product.

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Requests for Proposals

Requests for Proposals

At Material Matters, we recognize the importance of developing a set of technical requirements in a bid document (Requests for Proposals) for the management of wastewater solids which will both satisfy the utility’s unique service needs and deliver competitive pricing from bidders. We have experience with all aspects of the bidding process, including developing and/or reviewing bid specification documents, advertising the bid, and participating with pre-bid and bidding activities.

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