Skip to main content


Buy Article:

$17.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Or sign up for a free trial


Beneficially using the biosolids that result from digestion of municipal wastewater sludge provides a more complex challenge for governmental and private organizations than disposal methods such as landfilling, incineration, or the upcoming new idea of deep-well injection. The desire to return organic material and nutrients to soils conflicts with the desire to dispose of sludge containing pathogens and toxins. Governmental agencies in both the United States and Europe seek to balance the potential benefits with the costs of reducing the risks by regulating the levels of pathogens and toxins that may be present in biosolids, and specifying how biosolids are to be used. For historical, demographic, and geographic reasons, there are a number of significant differences between the regulations issued by the European Economic Community (EEC), now enlarged and strengthened into the European Union (EU) and those issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). This discussion summarizes aspects of the 1993 USEPA sludge regulation, the 1986 EEC sludge directive, and the latest draft of an EU working document summarizing material for possible inclusion in a new EU sludge directive. A final section on additional conflicts surrounding biosolids reuse leads to the conclusion that additional public education is needed, as well as institutional changes like insurance for producers. In addition, where it is economically feasible, disposal methods such as incineration play an important role, so successful demonstration of a new disposal method like deep well injection may lead to widespread adoption in areas with suitable geological formations.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2001-01-01

More about this publication?
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access.
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more