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This review discusses how present and proposed legislation on biosolids land application in the US and Europe will affect land application as a management option for sewage sludge. Although regulations in the US and Europe share many common features, the emphasis in the US has been on control of pathogens, whereas pollutants, both metals and toxic compounds, have been the main focus in the EU. Future regulations on both continents are likely to become more stringent and similar to each other. The presence of persistent pollutants in sewage sludge is of particular concern because: i) ceiling concentrations for pollutants in biosolids are likely to be reduced; ii) newly introduced chemicals may find their way to wastewater treatment plants and accumulate in biosolids; iii) current metal concentrations in biosolids seem to be the lowest attainable with current wastewater treatment technologies. These factors as well as future pathogen reduction requirements will put more pressure on wastewater treatment plants seeking to ensure that biosolids land application will remain a viable option for sewage sludge management.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-01-01

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