Biosolids are defined as organic matter recycled from sewage, especially for use in agriculture.
Specifically biosolids are sourced at the water treatment plant in your local municipality. In over half the municipalities across the United States.
This human waste is processed with industrial waste, concentrated and sold as “organic fertilizer”. These bags of fertilizer are sold at many chain super stores.
Several years ago, I toured the water treatment plant in my city and saw the process first hand. Sewage is held in a holding tank pool and processed through different tanks as part of the processing. These tanks remove debris and process fecal matter, urine and other ingredients with chemicals and neutralizers as well as disinfectants which are designed to remove toxic pathogens and microbes.
My favorite quote from the tour came from my then 12-year-old boy as we passed the processing pools cleaning debris, “Look, Mom – corn!”
It was the crappiest tour I’ve taken to date.
After the brown water is treated, a sludge is left. This sludge is scooped up with large front-loaders and delivered to cinder block framed holding rooms with an open top and front. From there local farmers come and pick up the “fertilizer” for spreading on their soil.
The EPA says, “The terms biosolids and sewage sludge are often used interchangeably. When properly treated and processed, sewage sludge becomes biosolids; the nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from the treatment of domestic sewage in a wastewater treatment facility. Biosolids can be recycled and applied as fertilizer to improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth.”
Ironically they go on to say, “Effective sewage sludge and biosolids management options help ensure that useful materials are recycled on land and harmful materials are not released to water bodies.”
However, these harmful materials are released into our soil which is meant to “feed” our vegetables.
Regulations require, “Once the wastewater reaches the plant, the sewage goes through physical, chemical and biological processes which clean the wastewater and remove the solids.”
The EPA says these biosolids are used in all 50 states.
Certain items not considered organic fertilizer exist in this byproduct. This could be contaminants as well as chemicals used to process the sewage.
The NESHAP for mercury requires that the total quantity of mercury emitted into the atmosphere from all incinerators at a given site does not exceed 3,200 grams during any 24-hour period.” (page 83 of A Plain English Guide to the EPA Part 503 Biosolids Rule).
In this guide pollutant limits are set for arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, lead, mercury and nickel.
Their guidelines report, “The NESHAP for mercury requires that the total quantity of mercury emitted into the atmosphere from all incinerators at a given site does not exceed 3,200 grams during any 24-hour period.”
If the solids do not qualify as top quality, “Biosolids are designated Class B if pathogens are detectable. When Class B biosolids are land applied, certain restrictions must be met at the application site; other requirements have to be met when Class B biosolids are surface disposed.” (page 118).
Biosolids.com says, “Biosolids have been used for decades, if not centuries, with no demonstrated adverse affects to human heath.” They further add, ” Some of these metals, known as micronutrients, are essential in small amounts for plant survival. Biosolids are routinely tested for metal concentrations to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations. Organic compounds, including pesticides, solvents and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), can be present in biosolids.”
However federal and state require, “Animals cannot be grazed on land until at least 30 days after application of biosolids; food crops whose harvested parts touch the biosolids/soil mixture and are above the land surface cannot be harvested until at least 14 months after land application occurs.”
They further go on to say, “When the biosolids remain on the land’s surface for four or more months before mixing into the soil, food crops with harvested parts below the land’s surface cannot be harvested until at least 20 months following application. This stretches to 38 months when the biosolids remain on the land’s surface less than four months before being incorporated into the soil.”
Although it is very difficult to find what is exactly used to “process” the waste water into the “organic fertilizer” Crystal Tanks describes the treatment process. This process does not remove all contaminants. They say, “Some pathogens, for example, ‘Prion’ diseases (CJD or ‘Mad Cow Disease is a Prion disease) cannot be destroyed by the treatment process.”
Some treatment plants sell their biosolids that are then packaged and sold as organic fertilizer in your local chain store.
*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, GAPS who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia through food she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. This is not a news article published by a paper trying to make money. This blog is put out by a mom who sees first hand the effects of nourishing food vs food-ish items. No company pays her for writing these blogs, she considers this a form of missionary work. It is her desire to scream it from the rooftops so that others don’t suffer from the damaging effect of today’s “food”.
“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.
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