National Biosolids Partnership
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About Biosolids

What are biosolids?                                                                          NBP FAQ Brochure

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, biosolids are the nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from the treatment of domestic sewage at a wastewater treatment facility. Through biosolids management, solid residue from wastewater treatment is processed to reduce or eliminate pathogens and minimize odors, forming a safe, beneficial agricultural product.


Why do we have biosolids?

Millions of tons of residuals are generated each year when treated water is separated from the solids. Local agencies must weigh the needs of their communities when looking for an environmentally- and financially-sound method of disposal while meeting their fundamental commitment to protecting public health. These options include land application, incineration, surface disposal, or land filling of biosolids. When conducted in compliance with federal and state regulations, land application of biosolids is considered to be a safe and cost-effective option for communities.


Are biosolids safe?

Recycling biosolids is good for the environment. Organic matter has been recycled for centuries to improve soil fertility and productivity. When properly applied and managed, biosolids can provide essential plant nutrients; improve soil structure and tilth; add organic matter; enhance moisture retention; and reduce soil erosion. Biosolids recycling is regulated and encouraged by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and state and local authorities. Research and years of recycling experience have demonstrated that properly managed land application of biosolids is an environmentally safe option for communities.

Fact Sheets about Biosolids

Biosolids Communications Resources