Phosphorus management for sustainable biosolids recycling in the United States

Herschel Adams Elliott, G. A. O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Land-based recycling of processed sewage sludge (biosolids) has traditionally been challenged by concerns over metals, organics, pathogens, odors, and public perception. Nutrient concerns, however, portend even greater challenges, and threaten land application programs in the US. Long-term application of biosolids results in accumulation of soil phosphorus (P) above concentrations needed for optimum crop yields. Water quality impairment associated with accelerated eutrophication is driving the US states to adopt policies and laws to reduce P losses to surface waters from agricultural land. Nearly all states have developed site assessment tools (P indices) to rank fields based on their vulnerability to P loss and to target remedial strategies. Biosolids have not been systematically addressed in most states and sustaining economical biosolids recycling programs will be difficult if policies fail to consider certain critical issues. Soil test P benchmarks should be based upon environmental P loss risk rather than crop response. Policies must recognize the role of mandated buffers in protecting surface water quality. Site indices must account for the sizable differences in P loss potential among biosolids types compared to mineral fertilizers and livestock manures. Finally, agronomic rate calculations must recognize different P fertilizer replacement values among biosolids products. Deployment of P management regulations for biosolids lacking scientifically defensible strategies in these areas will adversely affect land-based recycling. Sustainability requires additional research and intentional inclusion of biosolids in implementation of evolving P management policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1318-1327
Number of pages10
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Volume39
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007

Fingerprint

biosolids
biosolid
Recycling
Phosphorus
recycling
phosphorus
Water Quality
Fertilizers
Sewage
Soil
Eutrophication
Benchmarking
Manure
Livestock
Minerals
Buffers
surface water
water quality
Metals
fertilizer

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Soil Science

Cite this

@article{12e439f06c9846e3a534b635580eccef,
title = "Phosphorus management for sustainable biosolids recycling in the United States",
abstract = "Land-based recycling of processed sewage sludge (biosolids) has traditionally been challenged by concerns over metals, organics, pathogens, odors, and public perception. Nutrient concerns, however, portend even greater challenges, and threaten land application programs in the US. Long-term application of biosolids results in accumulation of soil phosphorus (P) above concentrations needed for optimum crop yields. Water quality impairment associated with accelerated eutrophication is driving the US states to adopt policies and laws to reduce P losses to surface waters from agricultural land. Nearly all states have developed site assessment tools (P indices) to rank fields based on their vulnerability to P loss and to target remedial strategies. Biosolids have not been systematically addressed in most states and sustaining economical biosolids recycling programs will be difficult if policies fail to consider certain critical issues. Soil test P benchmarks should be based upon environmental P loss risk rather than crop response. Policies must recognize the role of mandated buffers in protecting surface water quality. Site indices must account for the sizable differences in P loss potential among biosolids types compared to mineral fertilizers and livestock manures. Finally, agronomic rate calculations must recognize different P fertilizer replacement values among biosolids products. Deployment of P management regulations for biosolids lacking scientifically defensible strategies in these areas will adversely affect land-based recycling. Sustainability requires additional research and intentional inclusion of biosolids in implementation of evolving P management policies.",
author = "Elliott, {Herschel Adams} and O'Connor, {G. A.}",
year = "2007",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.soilbio.2006.12.007",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "39",
pages = "1318--1327",
journal = "Soil Biology and Biochemistry",
issn = "0038-0717",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "6",

}

Phosphorus management for sustainable biosolids recycling in the United States. / Elliott, Herschel Adams; O'Connor, G. A.

In: Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Vol. 39, No. 6, 01.06.2007, p. 1318-1327.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Phosphorus management for sustainable biosolids recycling in the United States

AU - Elliott, Herschel Adams

AU - O'Connor, G. A.

PY - 2007/6/1

Y1 - 2007/6/1

N2 - Land-based recycling of processed sewage sludge (biosolids) has traditionally been challenged by concerns over metals, organics, pathogens, odors, and public perception. Nutrient concerns, however, portend even greater challenges, and threaten land application programs in the US. Long-term application of biosolids results in accumulation of soil phosphorus (P) above concentrations needed for optimum crop yields. Water quality impairment associated with accelerated eutrophication is driving the US states to adopt policies and laws to reduce P losses to surface waters from agricultural land. Nearly all states have developed site assessment tools (P indices) to rank fields based on their vulnerability to P loss and to target remedial strategies. Biosolids have not been systematically addressed in most states and sustaining economical biosolids recycling programs will be difficult if policies fail to consider certain critical issues. Soil test P benchmarks should be based upon environmental P loss risk rather than crop response. Policies must recognize the role of mandated buffers in protecting surface water quality. Site indices must account for the sizable differences in P loss potential among biosolids types compared to mineral fertilizers and livestock manures. Finally, agronomic rate calculations must recognize different P fertilizer replacement values among biosolids products. Deployment of P management regulations for biosolids lacking scientifically defensible strategies in these areas will adversely affect land-based recycling. Sustainability requires additional research and intentional inclusion of biosolids in implementation of evolving P management policies.

AB - Land-based recycling of processed sewage sludge (biosolids) has traditionally been challenged by concerns over metals, organics, pathogens, odors, and public perception. Nutrient concerns, however, portend even greater challenges, and threaten land application programs in the US. Long-term application of biosolids results in accumulation of soil phosphorus (P) above concentrations needed for optimum crop yields. Water quality impairment associated with accelerated eutrophication is driving the US states to adopt policies and laws to reduce P losses to surface waters from agricultural land. Nearly all states have developed site assessment tools (P indices) to rank fields based on their vulnerability to P loss and to target remedial strategies. Biosolids have not been systematically addressed in most states and sustaining economical biosolids recycling programs will be difficult if policies fail to consider certain critical issues. Soil test P benchmarks should be based upon environmental P loss risk rather than crop response. Policies must recognize the role of mandated buffers in protecting surface water quality. Site indices must account for the sizable differences in P loss potential among biosolids types compared to mineral fertilizers and livestock manures. Finally, agronomic rate calculations must recognize different P fertilizer replacement values among biosolids products. Deployment of P management regulations for biosolids lacking scientifically defensible strategies in these areas will adversely affect land-based recycling. Sustainability requires additional research and intentional inclusion of biosolids in implementation of evolving P management policies.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33947527604&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33947527604&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.soilbio.2006.12.007

DO - 10.1016/j.soilbio.2006.12.007

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:33947527604

VL - 39

SP - 1318

EP - 1327

JO - Soil Biology and Biochemistry

JF - Soil Biology and Biochemistry

SN - 0038-0717

IS - 6

ER -