Biosolids, also known as treated sludge, is the byproduct of domestic and commercial sewage and wastewater treatment. Properly treated biosolids can be used as fertilizer. The term biosolids was created in 1991 by the Water Environment Foundation to differentiate raw, untreated sewage sludge from treated and tested sludge that can be beneficially used as fertilizer.
In Richmond, the sewage goes through physical, chemical and biological processes that clean the wastewater and removes solids. Richmond treats about 45 million gallons of wastewater a day and discharges the clean, treated water into the James River.
The City's wastewater treatment plant recycles its biosolids to farms in close proximity to Richmond, which is currently 43 farms in nine surrounding counties, including Amelia, Buckingham, Caroline, Charles City, Charlotte, Cumberland, Hanover, King William, and Powhatan.
To learn more about Richmond's biosolids, visit Nutri Blend and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.