When working with biosolids for the garden or any landscaping project, use the same precautions you would use if you are handling the materials when applying on agricultural land, or how you would protect yourself when using gardening tools and materials. For example, how do you protect your skin from the chemicals used to spray on orchids? You wear gloves, right? The gloves will protect your skin from having to touch the chemical directly. That’s exactly how you should manage the use of biosolids in your garden.
Wash your hands before handling, preparing, and applying the biosolids on any areas of the garden. No matter how careful you are in handling the biosolids, it can still enter the water stream if they are allowed to run off into surface water. Eventually, the soil could seep the biosolids and enter it back into the waterway. You should also make sure that the products are kept away from the sidewalks, the driveways, the gutters, etc. This will prevent runoffs or storm drains.
Another thing you have to remember about using and applying biosolids is to know how many should be used in one particular plot of land. Do not over-fertilize because you could kill your plants and crops, too.
You may apply heat-dried biosolids at rates and times based on the soil test recommendations or fertilizer recommendations provided by your local waste management facilities. For example, you should apply biosolids compost to increase soil organic matter and improve soil physical properties. The application of biosolids blends, on the other hand, depends on the properties of the specific blend.
You should also read up on the recommendations and best practices for the application of the particular biosolids type. Each year, environmental advocates and local governments publish a set of guidelines on waste management system and the use of biosolids in the community. There are also resources available online that could help you understand all about the benefits of using biosolids in gardens and landscapes.
Some gardeners are concerned about the possibility of water contaminants from biosolids such as trace metals, household chemicals, and pharmaceuticals getting into the water stream. The biosolids being produced today contain low level of these metals and chemicals. In fact, you are more likely to contaminate your homes through household use of chemicals than contacting it through the application of biosolids.
So, the next time you stop yourself from using biosolids as fertilizer for your gardens because of the fear that it could contaminate your surroundings, read up about the different ways you could protect your health and the environment.