Elemental Composition of Biosolids vs. Soil
Better than dirt
As I mentioned in my post last month, biosolids are the byproduct of wastewater treatment and are processed to reduce pathogens, which results in a material that’s much different than human waste. Biosolids are comprised of the remaining cell walls of microorganisms left over from the treatment process, as well as the organic biomass remaining after digestion. On an elemental level, the composition is somewhat similar to soil. Except it’s better.
The main difference between biosolids and soil is that biosolids have more Carbon and less Silicon. It also has more Nitrogen and Phosphorus. So not only are biosolids good fertilizer, the organic content of biosolids actually helps to replenish soils by adding more carbon.
Biosolids also help soil retain more water. Replacing carbon and improving the moisture holding-capacity of soils reduces the negative impacts of erosion, a challenge for all farmers.
Contrary to what people think, biosolids are a lot more (and less) than a bag of waste.