Recycling sludge biosolids to agriculture was established, sound and sustainable option for biosolids management. Economically, it is often the most cost-effective route saving an estimated £50,000,000 per year to the UK water industry alone compared with other options. The European Commission is revising the controls on biosolids to land and the latest draft (Working Document on Sludge 3rd Draft) include metal limits for soil that would seriously threaten the future of biosolids recycling to land.
The research, carried out by WRc in collaboration with four UK water utilities used the results of completed work, supported by tests on soils from farms using biosolids, to promote the beneficial effects of recycling biosolids to land and to resist the introduction of unnecessarily strict soil metal limits. The programme will provide a European perspective by collaborating with other countries sharing the same concerns including France, Spain, Portugal and Italy.
A focused defence of the agricultural outlet for recycling biosolids by providing a pan-European input to the debate on appropriate soil metal limits that are in-line with the aims of sustainable development.