Sewage Sludge (Biosolids)
Biosolids are the nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from the treatment of sewage sludge. When treated and processed, sewage sludge becomes biosolids which can be safely recycled and applied as fertilizer, instead of taking up space in a landfill or other disposal facility. Biosolids are used to sustainably improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth. The controlled land application of biosolids completes a natural cycle in the environment. Only biosolids that meet the most stringent standards spelled out in the Federal and state rules can be approved for use as a fertilizer.
The application of biosolids reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. As more wastewater plants become capable of producing high quality biosolids, there is an even greater opportunity to make use of this valuable resource. Agricultural use of biosolids has been shown to produce significant improvements in crop growth and yield. Nutrients found in biosolids, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and trace elements such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, sulfur and zinc, are necessary for crop production and growth. The use of biosolids reduces the farmer's production costs and replenishes the organic matter that has been depleted over time. The organic matter improves soil structure by increasing the soil's ability to absorb and store moisture.
The organic nitrogen and phosphorous found in biosolids are used very efficiently by crops because these plant nutrients are released slowly throughout the growing season.
This enables the crop to absorb these nutrients as the crop grows. This efficiency lessens the likelihood of groundwater pollution of nitrogen and phosphorous.
Although cities decide how best to manage their biosolids, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is obligated and continues to provide the public with educational information, based on the best science, about the safe recycling and disposal of biosolids. For additional information, go to US EPA's website.
If you have land that you are currently farming, and are interested in receiving biosolids, contact the wastewater plant.