Leesburg’s wastewater treatment plant was constructed in the 1970s. At the time, the method of disposal of solids was by drying beds and transport to land fill. In the early 1980’s, this process was converted to land application of class “B” digested sludge. This disposal program was very successful and in cooperation with local farmers, the Town was able to dispose of all material at area fields.
As growth increased and farm land vanished, the Town was forced to travel further and further to dispose of these solids. In addition, as more people moved in, the opposition to land application increased because some farmers were no adjacent to residential development. Faced with this dilemma, Town staff began analyzing other alternatives such as composting, incinerating and palletizing.
After significant research into alternatives, the Town decided to pursue the palletizing option and proceeded with a drying system manufactured by Andritz. The process converts liquid sludge to pellets. The final product is stored in silos and either bagged for use by consumers or sold in bulk to golf courses or landscapers. This product is called T.L.C (Tuscarora Landscapers Choice), after the main creek that runs through the Town.
The system employed in Leesburg was the first of its kind constructed in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of the only eleven facilities in North America. Since its construction in 2000, the success of the program and it’s popularity, a number of other Virginia localities have followed suit.