The fact that there is blinding misconception about biosolids, its use, management, and disposal, primarily because of the impact it has on the environment is an unwarranted and evidence-less hypothesis. While there are many who frown at the use of biosolids in agricultural lands near residential communities, this only stems from the lack of knowledge and education about what biosolids bring to the table and how it benefits the environment in general.
Reduction in the risk of water pollutants
Biosolids are rich in nutrients such as phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. Though these are harmless when it comes to the growth of the plants, nitrogen and phosphorus specifically could produce harmful toxins if they found their way from the farm fields down to the bodies of water.
It can degrade the quality of water in a community. Any type of crop fertilizer will contribute to this problem, but the nutrients found in biosolids are less water soluble than those in chemical fertilizers.
This means that they are less likely to end up in the waterway after a field application. In addition to that, biosolids contain organic matter, which improves soil structure and reduces erosion. This prevents the unwanted movement of nutrients to bodies of water that could contaminate it and cause health hazards to the public.
Conservation of limited natural resources
Plants need phosphorus to thrive and survive. The phosphorus found in chemical fertilizers is obtained by mining phosphate rock, which is a limited natural resource. The mining process that obtains the rocks has a negative effect on the environment.
But by reusing the phosphorus in the biosolids, we are essentially protecting the environment, too. Conversing the limited natural resources of the earth is a critical step towards the protection of the environment as a whole. Using biosolids means encouraging the natural cycle of phosphorus and reducing the need to mine phosphate rock.
Saving landfill space
A significant portion of municipal waste that has not been converted into biosolids will be disposed via landfills. However, the disposal of potential biosolids in landfills is being frowned upon by biosolids advocates and environmentalists around the world because this practice neglects the value that biosolids bring to the community and the environment.
It also wastes a significant amount of landfill space that could be otherwise utilized for materials that could not be disposed of through biosolids treatment. The land application of biosolids conserves landfill capacity for materials that have no residual value.