The Water Reclamation Plant provides a beneficial and safe means for use of treated sewage sludge through the Biosolids Program. Biosolids are the organic by-product of municipal wastewater treatment and are highly treated to remove pollutants and disease-causing organisms before they are land applied. Treated biosolids are land applied on farm fields as free fertilizer for local farmers.
Anaerobic digestion is used at the Water Reclamation Plant to reduce and treat the sewage sludge which results in the production of biosolids. Biosolids leaving the anaerobic digestion process are dewatered to approximately 5.8% solids and stored onsite in one of two solids storage tanks totaling over 7.5 million gallons. Biosolids are loaded from the storage tanks into semi tankers which haul biosolids to farmers fields. The semi tankers unload into our liquid applicator equipment. The liquid applicators are set up with GPS, pumps, and flow meters to apply the appropriate amount of fertilizer for the farmers crop. On average, 2,800 dry tons of biosolids are applied each year in spring and fall months. Biosolids production and its application to the land are highly regulated through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and by the WRP to ensure the safety of the public and local environment.
Biosolids are rich in phosphorus and nitrogen which are key elements to growing crops. If you are a farmer interested in being a part of the Rochester Biosolids Program, please contact the crew chief at 507-251-8435. If you are interested in more information about biosolids, the links below provide great resources or you may contact the Water Reclamation Plant.
Additional Resources and Links:
- Biosolids FAQs
- Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Biosolids Application Program
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Biosolids Program