Region 8

Biosolids

What are Biosolids?

Biosolids are, in effect, a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer with low concentrations of other plant nutrients. In addition to significant amounts of nitrogen, biosolids also contain phosphorus, potassium, and essential micronutrients such as zinc and iron. Many western soils are deficient in micronutrients. Biosolids are rich in organic matter that can improve soil quality by improving water holding capacity, soil structure and air and water transport. Proper use of biosolids can ultimately decrease top soil erosion.

When applied at agronomic rates (the rates at which plants require nitrogen during a defined growth period), biosolids provide an economic benefit in addition to their environmental benefits. Colorado State University agronomists have shown continuous application of three dry tons per acre every other year to dryland wheat produces comparable yields, higher protein content, and larger economic returns compared with the use of 50-60 pounds per acre of commercial nitrogen fertilizer.

 

What are the Traditional Practices in this Region?

Before about 25 years ago, the traditional practice in this Region was to landfill or incinerate what was then called sewage sludge. During the past quarter century the practice changed to recycling biosolids as soil amendments. Region 8 recycles 85% of the biosolids generated in the six state Region. Data from 1996 indicated that 90% of the facilities meet the more restrictive Table III requirements (see 40 CFR Part 503).

How can I get More Information?

U.S. EPA
Bob Brobst (8P-W-WW), Biosolids Coordinator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8
1595 Wynkoop Street
Denver, Colorado 80202-1129

Telephone: 303-312-6129 or 1-800-227-8917 ext. 6129
brobst.bob@epa.gov
Fax: 303-312-6116

State Contacts for the Biosolids Program 

COLORADO

Tim Larson
CO Dept. of Public Health
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO 80222
Tel: 303-691-4091
Fax: 303-782-0390
tim.larson@state.co.us

MONTANA

Tom Reid
Montana Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 200901
Helena, MT 59620
Tel: 406-444-5329
Fax: 406-444-1374
toreid@mt.gov

NORTH DAKOTA

Karl Rockeman
Environmental Health Section
Division of Water Quality
ND Dept. of Health
918 E Divide Ave
P.O. Box 5520
Bismarck, ND 58501-1947
Tel: 701-328-5210
Fax: 701-328-5200
krockema@nd.gov

SOUTH DAKOTA

Tina Piroutek
SD Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources
Joe Foss Building
523 East Capital
Pierre, SD 57501-3181
Tel: 605-773-3351
Fax: 605-773-5286
tina.piroutek@state.sd.us

UTAH

Daniel Griffin, P. E.
Environmental Engineer
UPDES Engineering Section
PO Box 144870
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4870
Tel: (801) 536-4387
Fax:   (801) 536-4301
dgriffin@utah.gov

WYOMING

Rich Cripe
WY DEQ
Herschler Bldg., 4th Floor West
122 W. 25th Street
Cheyenne, WY 82009
Tel: 307-777-7075
Fax: 307-777-5973
rich.cripe@wyo.gov