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Biosolids Use in Florida Pie Chart 1995
Compost made from a mixture of biosolids and yard trimmings.

(Left) Compost made from a mixture of biosolids and yard trimmings is applied to palm trees in Palm Beach County (photo courtesy of Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County).

Biosolids from a domestic wastewater treatment facility.

(Above) Biosolids from a domestic wastewater treatment facility in Tallahassee are applied to a coastal bermuda grass field (photo courtesy of the City of Tallahassee).

Domestic Wastewater Biosolids

When domestic wastewater is treated, a solid by-product accumulates in the wastewater treatment plant and must be removed periodically to keep the plant operating properly. The collected material, called biosolids or more commonly “sewage sludge,” is high in organic content, and contains moderate amounts of nutrients that are needed by plants. These characteristics make biosolids valuable as a soil conditioner and fertilizer.

Properly treated biosolids may be used as a fertilizer supplement or soil amendment, subject to regulatory requirements that have been established to protect public health and the environment. These requirements (found in Chapter 62-640, F.A.C.) include pollutant limits, treatment to destroy harmful microorganisms, and management practices for land application sites. Biosolids may be used by application to land in farming and ranching operations, forest lands, and public areas such as parks, or in land reclamation projects such as restoration of mining properties. The highest quality of biosolids, known in Florida as “Class AA,” are distributed and marketed like other commercial fertilizers.

Biosolids Rules and Forms

Chapter 62-640, F.A.C., Biosolids (as amended on 8/29/10)

Training Aid: Overview of the 2010 Biosolids Rule Revisions (393 KB)

Get the following Biosolids Forms:

  • DEP Form 62-640.210(2)(a), F.A.C., Treatment Facility Biosolids Plan
  • DEP Form 62-640.210(2)(b), F.A.C., Treatment Facility Biosolids Annual Summary
  • DEP Form 62-640.210(2)(c), F.A.C., Biosolids Application Site Annual Summary
  • DEP Form 62-640.210(2)(d), F.A.C., Biosolids Site Permit Application
  • DEP Form 62-640.210(2)(e), F.A.C., Biosolids Application Site Log

The latest rule revisions to Chapter 62-640, F.A.C., became effective on August 29, 2010. To view information about the rulemaking effort, see the Biosolids Rulemaking Updates page.

Links to References, Guidance, and Other Useful Information for Chapter 62-640, F.A.C.

(Links open in a new browser window.)

Link Link

Biosolids Related Information and Downloads

Links to Other Agencies Biosolids/Residuals/Sewage Sludge Information

The following websites contain vast amounts of information:

National Biosolids Partnership (NBP)

How the NBP EMS Program Benefited Orange County Utilities in Orlando, FL

EPA Office of Wastewater Management - Biosolids

EPA Pathogen Equivalency Committee

For Information Contact:

Maurice Barker
Biosolids Coordinator
Domestic Wastewater Section
2600 Blair Stone Road, MS 3540
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2400
Email: Maurice.Barker@dep.state.fl.us
(850) 245-8605

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Last updated: February 23, 2015

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