What are EQ Biosolids
EQ Biosolids are a product of wastewater treatment that supplies organic matter and improves the structure and porosity of soils, which allows plants to more effectively utilize nutrients. Air-dried biosolids can be used as a soil amendment or conditioner for establishing turfgrass and for mixing into custom topsoil blends.
EQ Biosolids look and feel like dark, fine-textured topsoil. They can be used on turfgrass at golf courses, athletic fields, parks and other recreational areas, and for restoration of brownfields and other disturbed lands. Better soil and healthier plants require less maintenance and make for more robust and durable landscaping.
EQ Biosolids meet the USEPA’s 40 CFR Part 503 requirements for exceptional quality (EQ), which are based on comprehensive risk assessments that are protective of human health and the environment. The regulations establish levels of trace metals and pathogens that are based on scenarios of a person coming into contact with biosolids or food grown on land receiving biosolids. These scenarios include children ingesting biosolids, workers breathing dust while applying biosolids, and homeowners using biosolids in their vegetable gardens.
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) has an exemplary biosolids management program. EQ Biosolids go through an extensive testing regimen to ensure each batch is of the highest quality. The MWRD has been successfully using EQ Biosolids on golf courses and athletic fields at both public parks and schools in the Chicago area for more than 20 years.
State law prohibits the application of EQ Biosolids on snow-covered or frozen ground. Additionally, EQ Biosolids must be applied in a manner that follows recommended application rates when used on agricultural land, and must be applied in a manner that follows best management practices to protect water quality when used on all other land.
Regulatory Development- In 2015, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation (Public Act 99-0067) that amended the Illinois Environmental Protection Act to recognize biosolids as a safe, beneficial and renewable resource that should be used locally. This legislative amendment also allows composted biosolids to be available to the public.
How To Use EQ Biosolids
Athletic Fields- Topdress athletic fields and other turfgrass areas.
Topsoil Blending- Blend 25-50 percent uniformly with topsoil and spread as needed for establishing turfgrass and landscaping.
Benefits of using biosolids Include:
- Increased infiltration and water holding capacity
- Longer retention of nutrients for better uptake by plants
- Improved topsoil structure and porosity for a better plant root environment
EQ Biosolids Analysis*
Parameter Units Range EPA EQ Metal Limits Parameter Units Range EPA EQ Metal Limits pH 5.8-6.7 Hg mg/kg 0.69-0.92 17 Dry Matter % 60-73 Ni mg/kg 26-51 420 As mg/kg 6.0-8.0 41 Pb mg/kg 81-120 300 Cd mg/kg 2.0-8.0 39 Se mg/kg <5 100 Cu mg/kg 330-493 1,500 Zn mg/kg 976-1,237 2,800 *Please see the EQ Biosolids Safety Data Sheet for more information
Ordering EQ Biosolids
- A minimum 10 cubic yard delivery available.
- Limited topdress spreading for 4 acres turfgrass or more available.
- For additional information inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EQ Biosolids Current Applications
Fact Sheet: Biosolids and COVID-19 - May 12, 2020