Green Carpet Growing Home Grow Show
Hosted by Marc Emmelmann
E7 / Green Dragon Fertilizer, CEO Jim Hernandez
In this interview with Jim Hernandez, CEO of Green Dragon, you’ll learn about how his unique new bio-solid fertilizer is made.
Jim Hernandez is a sitting board member of a local North County San Diego Wastewater Authority. One day, Jim realized the wastewater being sanitized and flushed into the ocean could potentially be used as a fertilizer for all kinds of gardening. Jim and other board members tested it and the results impressed them so much, Jim started Green Dragon (5-5-0.2). By leveraging local sewage sludge turned bio-solids, Jim creates “Class A EQ” bio-solids for soil enhancement. There are three categories of biosolids: Class B biosolids, Class A biosolids, and Class A Exceptional Quality (EQ) biosolids.
Using bio-solids in consumables is a contentious issue for some, but for others, not so much. The issue at hand is “are human bio-solids safe to use in fertilizing?” The EPA says yes, but there are pros and cons of using bio-solids.
Green Dragon shared with us: “Living things in our environment, from trees and grasses to humans, contain heavy metals and trace contaminants. Some metals, in the right quantity, are vital nutrients for plants and animals (e.g. copper and zinc). However, high concentrations of some elements and other contaminants can pose a risk to public health or the environment. The concern is not that heavy metals and other contaminants exist in fertilizers, manures and biosolids, but at what levels they exist.
The U. S. EPA has established numerical concentration limits in land-applied biosolids, federal biosolids regulation 40 CFR Part 503. Biosolids materials are tested for pollutants and must be within specified concentration levels, based on regulatory standards and/or ceiling concentration limits for nine heavy metals: arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, selenium and zinc. Most states have done additional risk assessments and established identical or similar numerical limits for the same elements and, in some states, additional contaminants of potential concern. In addition, risk assessments have been conducted on hundreds of other contaminants and elements of potential concern in biosolids, but regulatory limits have been set only for those elements and other contaminants that have been found in biosolids at high enough levels to warrant concern and limitation. The current regulatory limits ensure that high levels of potentially harmful elements and other contaminants will not occur in biosolids that are applied to soils.
Wastewater treatment facilities impose restrictions on what can be discharged to their sewers, so that dangerous materials do not threaten the treatment facilities’ biological processes and the quality of the cleaned water and biosolids. Pharmaceuticals are present in wastewater, but may take thousands of years of exposure to some antibiotics and over the counter drugs from land applied biosolids for the equivalent daily single dose of these compounds taken orally. Research from many studies show that exposure or hazard of this category of microconstituents is minimal from land applied biosolids or composted biosolids and entails minimum risk to human health.
The three categories of biosolids are Class B biosolids, Class A biosolids, and Class A Exceptional Quality (EQ) biosolids. Class B biosolids may have low levels of pathogens which rapidly die-off when applied to soils, essentially becoming pathogen-free within a short period following application in accordance with “Part 503” Rule requirements. “Part 503” refers to the section in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, where various standards related to pathogens and metals in biosolids are codified.
Class A biosolids are essentially free of pathogens prior to land application. The metal contents requirements under the Part 503 Rule are the same for Class A and Class B biosolids. (Regulation Example: Riverside County, Chapter 13.24). Class A biosolids products include lime pasteurized biosolids and fertilizer pellets.
Class A Exceptional Quality (EQ) biosolids have lower metals concentration requirements than either Class A or Class B biosolids and have the same pathogen levels as Class A biosolids.
EWA’s biosolids meet the Class A EQ requirements and are certified by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) as a fertilizer with no restrictions on use.
“Our Biosolids are made to contain slow release nutrients and a very low salt index that does not burn plant roots, which makes application easy and worry free. Use it on lawns, flowers, vegetables, trees, and shrubs. Our product creates healthy soil to make you an eco-friendly, home gardening expert..” -Jim Hernandez, Green Dragon
Green Dragon Ingredients:
Total Nitrogen (N) 5.0%
0.2% Ammoniacal Nitrogen
0.5% Water Soluble Nitrogen
4.3% Water Insoluble Nitrogen
Available Phosphate (P2 O5) 5.0%
Soluble Potash (K2O) 0.2%
Calcium (Ca) 3.0%
Magnesium (Mg) 0.5%
Sulfer (S) 1.4%
Iron (Fe) 2.5%
Molybdenum (Mo) 0.001%
Zinc (Zn) 0.065%
NOTE: Green Dragon recently contacted Green Carpet Growing to conduct tests with their fertilizer and cannabis, so before getting started, we thought it would be a good idea to invite Jim Hernandez, CEO & Founder of Green Dragon to the Green Carpet Growing Home Grow Show for an interview.