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Biosolids Compliance Monitoring

CWA Topics

Report Suspected Mishandling of Biosolids

If you suspect biosolids have been mishandled, EPA encourages you to submit a tip/complaint.

Biosolids are the nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from the treatment of sewage sludge (the name for the solid, semisolid or liquid untreated residue generated during the treatment of domestic sewage in a treatment facility). When treated and processed, sewage sludge becomes biosolids which can be safely recycled and applied as fertilizer to sustainably improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth.

Only biosolids that meet the most stringent standards spelled out in federal and state rules can be approved for use as a fertilizer. Local governments make the decision whether to recycle the biosolids as a fertilizer, incinerate it or bury it in a landfill. Although cities decide how best to manage their biosolids, EPA continues to provide the public with educational information, based on the best science, about the safe recycling and disposal of biosolids.

Compliance Monitoring

EPA conducts inspections of Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) and other industrial facilities that generate, store, transport and dispose of biosolids. EPA inspections involve:

Details on monitoring and inspections for biosolids can be found in Chapter 10 of the NPDES Compliance Inspection Manual.

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