Water-Related News

Biosolids closes in Fort Meade after 3-year battle with city

FORT MEADE — After battling the city for nearly three years over odors and utility charges, Biosolids Distribution Services has shut down rather than pay Fort Meade the $105,675 it owes for utility services, including wastewater.

“We tried to work with the city,” Tom Anderson, president of Sebring-based Biosolids, said Thursday, “but it's just gone too far. You can only fight City Hall so long.”

But City Manager Fred Hilliard said after sparring with Biosolids since 2013, he isn't disappointed to see the company at 1491 N.W. 14th St. close.

“Our friends have packed up their business and are moving on,” he said Thursday.

Clayton Frazier, whose Badcock & More store is barely a stone's throw from Biosolids, celebrated the company's closure.

“That is probably as good a news as I have heard in a while,” he said upon learning of Wednesday night's closure. “Just last week, someone came in and asked if we had a sewer problem.

“I'm ecstatic,” said Frazier, who's complained about odors from the plant for three years. “Wait until I tell my employees. They are going to be just as ecstatic as I am.”

Biosolids extracts liquid from treated wastewater sludge and sells the remaining product for use in fertilizer and other soil additives. But on many days, Frazier said, the trucks rolling by his store smelled more like they were transporting raw sewage than treated sludge.

Odor complaints brought city inspectors to Biosolids' door three years ago, Hilliard said, but issues with the company quickly escalated.