Jim Walsh - Biosolids
Jim Walsh, far right, received an award in 2012 from the MWRD for his use of biosolids


Jim Walsh, Sportsfields, Inc.

Jim Walsh, owner of Sportsfields, Inc., is a long-term biosolids user, having established or renovated over 1,000 sports fields in the Chicago area using biosolids in many of these fields.


MWRD soil scientist: How long have you been using MWRD biosolids?

Jim: I have used biosolids almost 30 years.

MWRD soil scientist: How do you use biosolids?

Jim: We have incorporated them into the root zone. We have topdressed with straight biosolids and have also topdressed mixing biosolids with topsoil, sand, etc.

MWRD soil scientist: Are there any challenges to working with biosolids compared to other materials?

Jim: The smell and availability of biosolids. The smell has gotten better over the years and for free, why complain, but we do need to make customers aware. Due to weather and site issues, it can be difficult coordinating projects with biosolids.

MWRD soil scientist:   Biosolids generally have earthy odor. There could be a temporary smell/odor associated with biosolids only if they are stockpiled and not spread upon delivery, particularly when wettened by rain. Be sure to schedule deliveries for the time you plan to apply. Alternatively, use our EQ compost, which is nearly odor-free. MWRD has improved the system from better matching the production and demand.

MWRD soil scientist: What are the results of using biosolids in turfgrass applications?

Jim: We usually get good/great results from the biosolids, as long as we do not [over apply]. The biosolids do help us establish a better turf.

MWRD soil scientist: Like all soil amendments, biosolids should be applied at an ideal rate. We recommend ¼”-1/8” for topdressing.

MWRD soil scientist: What is your advice to others who have never tried biosolids for turfgrass management?

Jim: I always suggest trying the biosolids. I also suggest using the proper amount vs. too much.

MWRD soil scientist: Thank you! We look forward to continued collaboration with Sportsfields, Inc.