Biosolids Analysis and Testing Services
Our Laboratory team routinely monitors for various human pathogens in Biosolids and Soil. We typically analyze for enteric viruses, Cryptosporidium and Giardia, helminth ova, and bacterial pathogens. We are currently involved in numerous pathogen monitoring projects of biosolids and biosolid amended soils within the state of Florida, throughout the United States, and internationally.
Once the wastewater reaches the plant, the sewage goes through physical, chemical and biological processes which clean the wastewater and remove the solids. If necessary, the solids are then treated with lime to raise the pH level to eliminate objectionable odors. The wastewater treatment processes sanitize wastewater solids to control pathogens (disease-causing organisms, such as certain bacteria, viruses and parasites) and other organisms capable of causing disease.
These Biosolids are also nutrient-rich. After treatment and processing, biosolids can be recycled and applied as fertilizer to improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth. The controlled land application of biosolids completes a natural cycle in the environment instead of taking up space in a landfill or other disposal facility. Land application of biosolids takes place in all 50 states.
The federal biosolids rule is contained in 40 CFR Part 503. Biosolids that are to be land applied must meet these strict regulations and quality standards. The Part 503 rule governing the use and disposal of biosolids contain numerical limits, for metals in biosolids, pathogen reduction standards, site restriction, crop harvesting restrictions and monitoring, record keeping and reporting requirements for land applied biosolids as well as similar requirements for biosolids that are surface disposed or incinerated.
There are different rules for different classes of biosolids. Class A biosolids contain no detectable levels of pathogens. Class A biosolids that meet strict vector attraction reduction requirements and low levels metals contents, only have to apply for permits to ensure that these very tough standards have been met. Class B biosolids are treated but still contain detectible levels of pathogens. There are buffer requirements, public access, and crop harvesting restrictions for virtually all forms of Class B biosolids.
Environmental Regulations and Technology: Control of Pathogens and Vector Attraction in Sewage Sludge (PDF) is a publication that provides useful guidance for successful compliance with 40 CFR Part 503 Subpart D. This subpart is the regulatory backbone of Class A and Class B pathogen requirements discussed in this Web site as well as the foundation for the Pathogen Equivalency Committee. EPA/625/R-92/013 Principal Biosolids Guidance is a primary reference for regional, state, and local regulatory authorities and their constituents.