Recommended Practices For Land Application of Biosolids

Biosolids are basically categorized into three classifications—Class A EQ, Class A, and Class B. The difference would be on the level of pathogens present in the biosolids produced, but all three are safe to be applied on agricultural land, farmlands, ranches, gardens, etc., especially Class A EQ and Class A biosolids. But before the application of biosolids both for private and public use, there must first be an analysis of the best management practices in using this organic fertilizer.

No discharge

The first thing that must be remembered is that there should be no discharge of the biosolids material from the application site. All measures must be taken to ensure that the biosolids will remain active in the area where it was intended to be applied. The improper application of biosolids in land and soil that have no use of it will cause catastrophic results. Only in emergency situations, particularly environmental causes, will this ever be forgivable.

Public use

If the private use of biosolids must follow strict restrictions and guidelines, the requirements for public use is double the one for private use. Before the use or the distribution of biosolids, aside from the EPA, there must be approval from the DNR. This goes as well for the distribution of biosolids for general use. It must be specifically noted that only Class A biosolids are allowed for public use.

Class B biosolids cannot be applied on public contact areas, residential lawns, or turf farms unless the biosolids are incorporated. If Class B biosolids will be used, it must receive approval from permitting agencies and the areas will be restricted from public for at least one year.

Restrictions on crops

Class B biosolids cannot be used on root crops, vegetable crops, and home gardens if the edible parts will come in direct contact with the material. This will only be possible if the crops are not going to be used for human or animal consumption.

Endangered species

Biosolids, no matter what class, cannot be applied in the natural habitat or the designated critical habitat of endangered species. Any threat or adverse effect on the species is a violated of the regulations of using biosolids.

Buffer zones

There are certain areas where biosolids cannot be applied because it is near or besides a water supply well, lake, pond, water supply reservoir, or water supply intake in a stream. The most common buffer zone is 300 feet, meaning there should be no treatment facility of biosolids or land where biosolids were applied within the 300 feet radius of the above-listed areas. This will also apply to wild and scenic rivers, losing stream, and resource water supplies.

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