Biosolids (sludge) are the stabilized and de-watered organic solid products of the facility's solids process. While many people believe biosolids are waste, they are actually a valuable resource. Like animal manure, biosolids are part of the natural cycle of life. They contain nutrients like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, sulphur, calcium, iron, magnesium, molybdenum, copper and zinc. Utilization of biosolids provides a natural, organic alternative to petroleum-based chemical fertilizers and eliminates the need to dispose of these materials at local landfills.
We apply over 550 tons of biosolids each year to farm fields. Because of the high organic content, biosolids can improve soil structure and tilth (suitability of land for growing crops), increase intake and retention of water, promote desirable drainage, reduce crusting and runoff, and permit easier seed emergence. Organic matter is the ingredient that gives life to the soil and is the storehouse of food for crops. Microorganisms in the soil utilize this organic matter as energy while releasing the nutrients for use by growing plants.
The Biosolids Management Program at the City of Burlington Water Pollution Control Facility ensures the safe agricultural re-use of the biosolids product. Land application rates are computed based on crop needs. The application rates fully comply with regulations set forth by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.