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.
Questions and Facts About Biosolids
Biosolids and Regulation
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Bureau of Clean Water
Division of Planning and Permits
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: Vacant (570) 327-3670
Northeast Region: Tim Craven (570) 830-3082
Southwest Region: Bill Davis (412) 442-4054
Southcentral Region: Tom Sweeney (717) 705-4786
Southeast Region: James Roth (484) 250-5169
US EPA Biosolids Coordinator
Phone: (215) 814-5735