Application of municipal sewage sludge in forest and degraded land
Nearly 8 million dry tons of municipal sewage sludge are produced each year in the USA by the more than 15,000 publicly owned treatment plants and the tonnage is increasing.For two decades, researchers in the USA have been studying the feasibility of land application of municipal sewage sludge. Research, large-scale practical projects, and commercial ventures have shown that stabilized sludge is an excellent organic amendment and chemical fertilizer for various plants. The large forest land base in the USA and the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of forest soils make forests suitable for municipal sludge disposal. Additional advantages are that forests are often deficient in major nutrients found in sludges, and that forests are not major contributors to food chain crops for human consumption.