Last updated: November 17, 2021

What Does Biosolids Mean?

Biosolids are a byproduct of municipal wastewater treatment, and are the organic matter processed into a fertilizer for use in agriculture. Biosolids are made from the solids or sludge produced by the wastewater treatment process.

Biosolids may contain the macronutrients nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, and they can also contain micronutrients such as sulfur, copper, zinc, calcium, iron, boron, and others.


Maximum Yield Explains Biosolids

Biosolids have long been used for agriculture, but in the past these solids were not properly treated, so there were issues with odor, toxins, and other biohazards. Today, wastewater treatment and the production of biosolids is regulated by the government.

During the wastewater treatment process, solids or sludge are removed while the liquid is processed, and are sanitized separately. These solids are often dried, sterilized, and packaged for use.

Biosolids are used as a soil conditioner, which adds organic matter, valuable nutrients, and enhances moisture retention.

Biosolids are also valuable for lawn care and landscaping to condition the soil, add nutrients, and aerate the soil. For this purpose the biosolids are normally dried and packaged in forty or fifty pound (18 to 23 kilogram) bags.

Because biosolids are carefully processed during sewage treatment there is very little risk of E. coli or pathogen contamination.


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