What we do know about the management and treatment of biosolids is that they are regulated and regularly inspected by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Regular monitoring and inspection allow the EPA to ensure that communities remain safe from possible contaminants that treatment facilities discharge. The use of treatment plants of the same waterways and sewage system as the community is highly prohibited by the environmental agency.
The EPA, in a nutshell, holds treatment plants responsible and accountable for any leakage that could adversely affect the clean water systems of neighborhoods where the facilities are located. The agency makes sure that the facilities will continuously follow a high level of quality control in producing biosolids.
Most treatment facilities in the United States are government owned, controlled, and managed, although there are some private players in the industry, too. Both government-owned and private-owned treatment plants are required to get permits from the EPA and the state. The agency and the state will hold the facilities accountable and to strict standards that they must assure in the production of biosolids. Using approved testing procedures, the biosolids are routinely tested and analyzed. The results of these tests will be written down in the form of a report that will then be submitted to the EPA and the state government. All of these are done to ensure the quality of the biosolids products.
But aside from that, and the most important, is that treatment plants run industrial pretreatment programs to ensure that any industrial discharges into the sewer system are free from contaminants that might impact the quality of the biosolids. The permit that allows the discharge of contaminants to the sewage system is limiting, however. This means, there is only a small amount of contaminants that are allowed to enter the sewage system.
Under the industrial pretreatment program, regular monitoring and control of discharges are required. These measures make it easier for the general public to accept the presence of these treatment facilities in their neighborhoods. And while there is greater acceptance these days, thanks largely to the open discussions on social media about the benefits of using organic fertilizers, a large chunk of the population remains pessimistic or even indifferent to what biosolids can bring to the communities.
All these are understandable because it is only during the past decade that the topic about biosolids was opened to the general public. These assurances will help eliminate the misgivings and misunderstandings about the effects of biosolids treatment plants in a community.