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Biosolids and Soil - Remarkable Media for Managing Microconstituents

Presentation to the NEWEA Microconstituents Conference, Oct., 2014



USA Biosolids Regulations and Practice....

Presentation to the ISO / TC 275 Workshop

September 8, 2014  -  Burlington, ON  Canada


Biosolids:  The Other Recyclable Food "Waste"

Co-processing of organic residuals creates efficient, win-win-win systems.

A NEBRA presentation to the Northeast Resource Recovery Association Annual Conference, June 10, 2014. 


Biosolids: Current Topics

A NEBRA presentation to the Maine WEA Spring Conference (PDF, 8.4 MB)
April 18, 2014


NEBRA Submits Comments on Massachusetts Proposed Fertilizer Regulations

The Massachusetts Dept. of Agricultural Resources has proposed fertilizer regulations that would restrict the recycling of biosolids and other organics - even as the state is requiring the diversion of more organics from landfills.  NEBRA, Mass Farm Bureau, and others are calling on MADAR to work with Mass DEP, UMass Extension, and other stakeholders on a new, science-based set of rules.  Read NEBRA comments here.


Maine's Senators Draw Attention to New LAWPCA AD & CHP

Senators Susan Collins and Angus King sent a letter to the heads of U. S. EPA, USDA, and U. S. DOE urging them to take notice of the many benefits of anaerobic digestion (AD) and combined heat and power (CHP) achieved by the Lewiston-Auburn Water Pollution Control Authority (LAWPCA) and urging federal funding for more such projects.  Read the letter here.


It's Time For Vermont to Advance Biosolids Recycling

an article by NEBRA on page 5 of the Winter 2013 Green Mountain Water Environment Association Newsletter. Download here


LAWPCA Anaerobic Digestion and Energy Generation Workshop and Open House - presentations at Lewiston-Auburn Water Pollution Control Authority, Lewiston, ME, September 10, 2013.

Click to download:

Georgine Grissop, CDM SMith:  Anaerobic Digesters 101: Process Description and Process Control

John Donovan, CDM Smith:  Basis of Design of LAWPCA Digestion / Energy Recovery Facilities

John Reilly, Hoyle Tanner & Associates:  Biogas

Dan Kelly, Tom Schwartz, Woodard and Curran:  NEWEA 2013 - Combined Heat and Power

Ned Beecher, NEBRA:  Co-Digestion: The Path to Net-Zero Energy Consumption

Travis Peaslee, LAWPCA:  Stakeholder Concerns 


The Art of Composting - presentations at Tin Mountain Cons. Ctr., Albany, NH, May 23, 2013.

 Click to download:

 Olivia Saunders, UNH Cooperative Extension:  The Art of Composting: The Basics

 Ned Beecher: The Many Benefits of Compost / Available Compost Products / Compost Quality & Safety


Managing Your Biosolids Program Beyond Regulatory Compliance - presentation to the Biosolids 101 Workshop, WEF Residuals & Biosolids Conference, May 4, 2013 (3.4 MB low-resolution PDF).  Includes live-link references to key informational documents & websites.


NEBRA hosts this biogas database website, co-produced by 350 Technologies LLC.

biogasdata.org logo


     v. 1.2 (Aug. 2013)


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NEBRA Products... 

Information Update:  Microconstituents in Biosolids: Current State of Knowledge, May 2011.  A 4-page summary of the science regarding presence, fate, and significance of pharmaceuticals, personal care products (PPCPs), and other microconstituents in biosolids applied to soils.  Click here to download.

Information Update: Options for Biosolids Use or Disposal in New England & Eastern Canada, April 2011.  Summarizes pros and cons of various beneficial use and disposal options. Click here to download.

North East Conference presentations are available at the conferences webpage.

Other NEBRA presentations:

Anaerobic Digestion & Biogas Use Information; developed as part of MA "Digester Day" - May 8, 2012.

Municipal Biosolids Risks: 25 Years of Research & Practice (7.4 MB low-resolution PDF of slides presented at the MPWWA Annual Seminar, Charlottetown, PE, April 24, 2012)

The Vision for NH Wastewater Treatment Facilities: Full Resource Recovery (presented at the NH Water & Watershed Conference, Plymouth State University, March 23, 2012)

Addressing Questions About Residuals - A Training (Dec. 8, 2011)

Microconstituents in Biosolids: Update on the Science (NEWEA Annual Conference, Jan 2011)

Biosolids Composting in the U. S. in 2010 (NEWEA Annual Conference, Jan 2011)

Biosolids Emissions Assessment Model (BEAM) - NEBRA was a member of the team, led by Sylvis, that produced this model and spreadsheet calculator for estimating greenhouse gas emissions from biosolids management for the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment.  NOW updated!  Version 1.1 available free here.

The White House garden & biosolids compost -  This story began in spring of 2009:  a single soil test at the exciting new home garden at the White House triggered an online and print discussion of lead in urban soils and its potential impacts.  Without fact-checking, many of the writers who took the story "viral" on the internet have assumed that biosolids compost helped cause the somewhat elevated lead level.  That's unlikely, as this Information Update demonstrates. The fact is, biosolids compost is a high-demand product used widely in agriculture, horticulture, and turf care.  It is even used to reduce lead bioavailability at significantly contaminated sites.  Published guides and research papers on this topic are available; contact the NEBRA office.

A Greenhouse Gas Emissions Analysis of Biosolids Management Options for Merrimack, NH (2008) compares composting and landfill disposal using local data, resulting in estimates of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions for each option. Click here to download.

Global Atlas of Excreta, Wastewater Sludge, and Biosolids Management: Moving Forward the Sustainable and Welcome Uses of a Global Resource.  NEBRA Director Ned Beecher wrote the summary chapter for this United Nations Habitat publication, and NEBRA contributed a chapter on U.S. biosolids management.  Availabe as a free download or in print here.

NEBRA Response to the Film "Sludge Diet" ("Tabou(e)")   This documentary, originally released in 2006 in French in Quebec, advocates against the use of biosolids on land by citing incidents that purportedly show harm from this practice.  The conclusions reached by those in the film have been refuted by U. S. EPA, state environmental agencies, and others, as discussed in this NEBRA response.  Download the Response here.  More about the film here.

A National Biosolids Regulation, Quality, End Use & Disposal Survey (2007) provides the most comprehensive information to date regarding how sewage sludge is managed in the United States. Data is from 2004. The report consists of four parts:

A National Biosolids Regulation, Quality, End Use & Disposal Survey

National Biosolids Report, Appendices A, B, C

National Biosolids Report, Appendix D, Alabama - Missouri

National Biosolids Report, Appendix D, Montana - Wyoming

The Science of Biosolids Recycling
The Science of Biosolids Recycling

NEBRA Film Review of "Crapshoot: The Gamble with Our Wastes"  This 2003 documentary film was reviewed by Ned Beecher in 2005.  Download the review here.   The film is available online here.

How Biosolids are Generated and Used in New England & eastern Canada, a slide presentation in PDF format.  Download here.

Official Usage of the Term "Biosolids" provides a short history of the word "biosolids" and a compilation of uses of the term in federal, state, and provincial regulations and guidance and other official documents.  Download: Official Usage of the Term "Biosolids"

Saving Soil: Biosolids Recycling in New England (2001) describes the sewage sludge management practices in the six New England states. Includes information on the quality of the region's land applied biosolids. While some of the quantity data and other details are now outdated, this report still provides an accurate general picture. Download: Saving Soil


P.O. Box 422
Tamworth, New Hampshire
Ned Beecher - Executive Director
FAX 603.323.7666
email: info@nebiosolids.org

NEBRA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, registered in New Hampshire, serving the public interest.  Organization and financial information available.