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Wastewater - Solids Management: Disposal

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Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum
Wastewater Treatment

Digested, dewatered sludge can be disposed of by burial in a landfill or by burning (incineration). Landfills which receive sludge must be designed to prevent contamination of nearby surface or groundwater supplies. The gases and particles produced in incineration must be collected as well to protect air quality.

Digested, dewatered sludge is also applied to agricultural land and made available to the pubic for personal use as a soil conditioner and fertilizer. This disposal option requires that the sludge be treated to reduce (for agricultural use) or eliminate (for public use) pathogens. Sludges treated in this manner are called biosolids and their application is controlled to protect the public health and welfare.

Sludge Storage

Digested, dewatered sludge in storage prior to land application

Spreading Biosolids

Spreading biosolids on fallow fields

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