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Old March 8, 2018   #1
whoose's Avatar
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Location: Bozeman, Montana Zone 6b
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Default Bio Solids?

How do you feel about Bio-Solids being included as an ingredient in organic compost? Much to my surprise it is here in Montana. Can this really be happening?
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Old March 8, 2018   #2
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Personally I cannot agree that I want it in my garden, mainly because you can’t know where it came from or if it was processed and sterilized properly
It is the microbes present in good quality plant based compost that you want in your garden. Nobody needs to sterilize plant based compost.
I think that for my own garden home made compost where I am sure of what’s in it is the ideal soil booster.
Use it on your trees shrubs lawn or flowers, I would use something else for edibles
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Old March 8, 2018   #3
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No chance in hell will I have that stuff on my property.
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Old March 8, 2018   #4
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Scary stuff. Organic really is useless now since sewage and hydroponic produce can be labeled organic. As with most things you have to do your research and decipher the BS.
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Old March 12, 2018   #5
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Makes one wonder about sewage being treated by the city and used for drinking water in some places.
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Old May 8, 2021   #6
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Bio Solids AKA sewer byproduct is still in the products we buy. How many are reading the labels and avoiding?
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Old May 8, 2021   #7
D.J. Wolf
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Ok, here's the deal. I wouldn't want this simple because it's human biosolids. But realistically, we add steer/horse/cow/pig/sheep/whatever bio solids from animals to our gardens all the time. Rabbits, squirrels, deer, elk, bear, moose, and sasquatch* all use out gardens and fields as handy bathrooms. So is there really any difference between human and critter waste? I honestly don't know.

*Critters using your garden as a bathroom may very by location. Wild animals may be dangerous, approach with caution. Startling an animal while it is using your garden as a bathroom may result in violent reactions, including uncontrolled explosive diarrhea, screaming, cursing, and physical attack. Screaming and cursing normal done by the gardener, with the exception of sasquatch. Side effects may very. These statements not evaluated by FDA or any other governmental organization.
Kevin (aka the DJ)
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Old May 8, 2021   #8
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Seems like a BIG difference to me but to each his own! ��
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Old May 8, 2021   #9
Join Date: May 2007
Location: North County, San Diego
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Is it OMRI certified organic?
Manure Animal Manures Animal manure with bedding, manure tea, urine NO:
biosolids/sewage sludge
manure ash
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Old May 9, 2021   #10
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EDIT: Ok I have always had a soft spot for composting and a fascination with wastes as a resource. Hence my username shatbox.

Here is a takeaway from a deep dive into biosolids years back when I visited the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant here in Los Angeles to learn how this all works:

First waste water is screened and what's caught goes to landfill. What's left is waste, grease/oils, and suspended grit like sand; which is settled and skimmed off (Primary process). Next bacteria is added to the water in an aerobic process then again settled (Secondary treatment). The water branches off to a different clarification process while the solids from the primary and secondary processes are sent to an enclosed anaerobic digester where it is digested to kill pathogens and collect methane to power the plant. That's it. The product of the anaerobic digester is what we see as biosolids

Also, products like Milorganite used to have a special EPA "organic" certification for biosolids but it is not an allowed input by the USDA for organic production so it's not used in the organic labeled food we eat.

First I would say that it is way safer in terms of pathogens then that gosh darnoodley cat poop left in in veggie garden and I saw that there is a large amount of testing all along the process.

I saw data showing heavy metals are below required levels, but they are still a concern to me since even LA County's own farm uses the biosolids to grow crops not for human consumption. Another concern is the various other chemicals people and operations flush down the drain. I think there is an unstated assumption that only human waste is flushed and that anything else will be diluted ( :/ the ol' saying the solution to pollution is dilution). We can't even trust people to not throw garbage in recycle bins for Pete's sake.

I don't know. If anything, maybe my own humanure, at least I know what I eat

In all, I would not use biosolids to grow for human food crops but would use for green manures which I would compost and use in another site . I know its only once removed but that gives me a little comfort.

The idea of using biosolids is one that makes absolute sense, but I think the lack of communication and easily available information really does not help to lessen the stigma and doubt.

Last edited by shatbox; May 9, 2021 at 12:43 AM.
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Old March 30, 2022   #11
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Location: virginia
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Still think Biosolids are safe because it is OMRI listed? This might change your mind. These entities don't protect us anymore and the sooner you stop trusting them the better off you will be

Songbird Farm’s 17 acres (7 hectares) hold sandy loam fields, three greenhouses and cutover woods that comprise an idyllic setting near Maine’s central coast. The small organic operation carved out a niche growing heirloom grains, tomatoes, sweet garlic, cantaloupe and other products that were sold to organic food stores or as part of a community-supported agriculture program, where people pay to receive boxes of locally grown produce.

Farmers Johanna Davis and Adam Nordell bought Songbird in 2014. By 2021 the young family with their three-year-old son were hitting their stride, Nordell said.

But disaster struck in December. The couple learned the farm’s previous owner had decades earlier used PFAS-tainted sewage sludge, or “biosolids”, as fertilizer on Songbird’s fields. Testing revealed their soil, drinking water, irrigation water, crops, chickens and blood were contaminated with high levels of the toxic chemicals.

The couple quickly recalled products, alerted customers, suspended their operation and have been left deeply fearful for their financial and physical wellbeing.

“This has flipped everything about our lives on its head,” Nordell said. “We haven’t done a blood test on our kid yet and that’s the most terrifying part. It’s devastating.”

Public health advocates say Songbird is just the tip of the iceberg as Maine faces a brewing crisis stemming from the use of biosolids as fertilizer. The state has begun investigating more than 700 properties for PFAS contamination. Few results are in yet but several farmers’ independent testing revealed high PFAS levels, and statewide contamination has disrupted about 10 farms.

Farmers who spoke with the Guardian say other growers have admitted to hiding PFAS contamination because they fear economic ruin.

Maine is hardly alone. It is finding more contamination because it’s doing more testing, experts say. All sludge contains some level of PFAS, and farms across the country have increasingly used the substance as fertilizer in recent decades. Michigan, one of the only other states to monitor biosolids and to test agricultural products, recently discovered PFAS-contaminated beef.
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Old March 30, 2022   #12
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That is a very sad story, Amen!!

I am glad we are purely organic. Us Farmer works really hard, with sweat and tears to save our crops and farmland with little money filled with God's Holy Spirit with little funds, but survive by our love to farm. . I pray the kids are OK.

Farmer, Joyce Beggs of
Angel Field Heirloom Tomatoes
May God Bless you and my Garden, Amen
MrsJustice as Farmer Joyce Beggs
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Old May 6, 2022   #13
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Maine passes first PFAS biosolids ban, taking stand against forever chemicals

BANGOR, Maine, May 4 (UPI) -- Maine has become the first state to ban fertilizer using sewage sludge containing "forever chemicals" -- synthetic compounds found in items from food wrappers to carpeting that fail to break down in the environment.
The move, along with a ban approved last year on all PFAS-containing products, puts Maine at the forefront of the fight against per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which have been linked to a variety of health problems, including cancer and high cholesterol.

The chemicals accumulate over decades, filtering into soil, water, plants and animals -- and eventually into people's bloodstreams.
"Maine is one of the few states that is really taking this problem seriously and taking action to address the issue," Jared Hayes, a policy analyst with the Environmental Working Group, told UPI.
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Old May 6, 2022   #14
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Several years ago the city of Omaha Nebraska produced a product called Oma-Gro which contained sewage sludge that had been composted along with lawn and leaf waste with ground up wood chips. They took another look at the process and discontinued the sludge in the product for safety reasons. It is now entirely a yard waste compost product.

I still have reservations because of lawn treatment chemicals that still may be present even after the extensive composting process. I do make and use my own compost since I know what has gone into my compost pile.
there's two things money can't buy; true love and home grown tomatoes.
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Old May 7, 2022   #15
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I saw a tv show of a company that sells worms from his dog kennels.Also here in Miami at the zoo you can pick up compost called “Zoo Doo” by the gallons or truck load.

Last edited by kurt; May 7, 2022 at 12:35 PM. Reason: Additional info
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