Does Organic Farming Need to Use Sewage Sludge?

organic farming

A majority of those clueless about organic farming thought that being organic means using natural human waste as fertilizer on their crop production. This is farthest from the truth. It needs to be said that organic farming is the cleanest method of growing crops, plants, fruits, and vegetables. The misconception stems from the fact that animal manure has the most effective nutrients that a farm needs. 

Sure, many industries actually use human wastewater treatment by-products or biosolids to treat their land and crop. This is also known as sewage sludge. Technically, sewage sludge is the mix of solid waste that is flushed down from the toilets and sinks inside your home. This is composed of more than just human feces and urine. You can find all kinds of junk in sewage sludge. 

Sometimes, people would throw away diapers and sanitary napkins into the toilet bowl. These are the same materials that can’t be broken down in a wastewater or sewage sludge treatment facility. It will take centuries before this kind of waste can be broken down.

This is why the government has stopped suggesting the use of residential and industrial sewage sludge as biosolids in an organic farm. Except, of course, if the biosolids came from facilities that can treat sewage sludge and turn it into natural fertilizers for organic farms.

Theoretically, human urine and feces are effective fertilizers for crops. But this is only possible in a truly closed-loop agricultural system where there’s zero chance that this natural fertilizer will get contaminated. 

But living in this world means that it is highly possible the things we flush down our toilet are not as “pure” and “natural” as we would like to think. Just think about the last few weeks. What are the things that you threw in your toilet and flushed down your septic tank or the city’s sewer pipes?

You probably used a drain cleaner, some industrial chemicals, and radioactive medical fluids. Unintentionally, our bodies also produce some toxic contaminants such as birth control pills, medications, antibiotics, and other drugs. Our bodies are nature’s nightmares. 

So, can you imagine if all these contaminants mix together in the sewage sludge? Can you imagine organic farming methods using these same biosolids to treat the land and their crops? Then, eating these food products? Farms are going to run the risk of producing contaminated food products, which is something they try to avoid seeing as they reject the notions of conventional farming methods. 

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