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Biosolids Program

Understanding Biosolids Land Application in the Community (PDF)

Beneficial Use of Biosolids

We are all responsible for generation of biosolids. Pennsylvanians produce an estimated 2.2 million tons of wastewater solids, or sewage sludge and residential septage, each year, nearly a quarter of a ton per household.

This material has proven to be a valuable resource, when controlled and safely applied, as a fertilizer to help rejuvenate farmland, forests and minelands.

In order to ensure safe use of biosolids, Pennsylvania's regulatory program focuses on setting strict standards for biosolids quality before land application and requiring generators to be more responsible.

This approach was developed after extensive studies by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and public review in Pennsylvania found land application is environmentally safe and beneficial to the soil. The regulations have been endorsed by the Solid Waste Advisory Committee, the Pennsylvania Water Environment Association and the Pennsylvania Septage Management Association.

Biosolids that do not meet the new environmental standards must either be incinerated or taken to a landfill for disposal.

Biosolids and Regulation

Contact Information

Central Office

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Bureau of Clean Water
Municipal Facilities Division
Rachel Carson State Office Building
P. O. Box 8774
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8774

Regional DEP Biosolids Coordinators

Northwest Region: Regina Schweinsberg (814) 332-6848

Northcentral Region: Rebecca Renner (570) 321-6516

Northeast Region: Briaunna Makar (570) 826-2359

Southwest Region: Bill Davis (412) 442-4054

Southcentral Region: Tom Sweeney (717) 705-4786

Southeast Region: Coordinator (484) 250-5176

US EPA Biosolids Coordinator

Kenneth Pantuck
Phone: (215) 814-5769