Every day, water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs) across the country treat billions of gallons of “used water” generated by our homes and businesses. The stringent controls and sophisticated treatment technologies mandated by the Clean Water Act have yielded significant improvements in public health and the condition of our nation’s waters. Water is cleaned at WRRFs by extracting solids that come into the plant with the water. Most of these solids are nutrients and organic matter, just the things needed to improve soils and help plants grow. Once the solids have been carefully treated and meet quality standards, they can be called biosolids.

Biosolids are defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as: “nutrient-rich organic materials. . . that can be recycled and applied as fertilizer to improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth.” Farmers, landscapers, home gardeners and others have been using biosolids for well over five decades. They continue to do so because the results are impressive and because they enjoy being part of a recycling effort with benefits to soil, plants, and our nation’s waters.

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Additional Resources:

AuthorResource Title
Water Environment FederationAbout Biosolids
Water Environment FederationAccelerating Resource Recovery: Biosolids Innovations and Opportunities
Water Environment FederationSolids Process Design and Management
U.S. EPAWater:Sewage Sludge (Biosolids) FAQ
Northwest Biosolids Management AssocationWhat are biosolids
Canadian Water and Wastewater AssociationFAQ-Biosolids