The term Biosolids was recognized in 1991 by the Water Environment Federation (WEF). The term Biosolids was created by the “Name change task force” at WEF to differentiate raw, untreated sewage sludge from treated sewage sludge that can be beneficially utilized as soil amendment and fertilizer. Biosolids are nutrient-rich, organic materials resulting from the treatment of domestic sewage in a treatment facility. Biosolids, a by-product of domestic and commercial sewage and wastewater treatment are also referred to as Residuals, . These residuals are further treated to reduce pathogens and vector attraction. According to the USEPA, biosolids that meet treatment and pollutant content criteria of part 40 CFR503 can be safely recycled and applied as a fertilizer to sustainably improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth.
There are a variety of biosolids programs in the Northeast Section. They range from those that landfill, land application, composting programs, incineration, and even energy production. Today, most biosolids are looked at as a valuable by-product instead of a waste product. In the future, many biosolids programs will look toward energy production for cost savings and a green initiative. There are several programs out there that maintain a beneficial reuse program. Some of these programs even offset the cost to produce from sales of their Biosolids. The end users of these biosolids are farmers, landscapers, soil blenders, composters, and home owners.
Members of the Section are actively involved with the Ohio Water Environment Association Residuals Committee. They are currently reviewing the OEPA draft rule changes for biosolids (OAC 3745-40). Also, they are continuing to educate the public on the benefits and safety of a regulated biosolids program.