Land Application of Biosolids

Biosolids are nutrient-rich organic material separated from the liquid portion of municipal wastewater after treatment. The biosolids recycled by Roanoke Rapids Sanitary District (RRSD) are applied as a liquid and act as fertilizer and soil conditioner on area farmland. The application of biosolids is an effective way of replenishing the area’s farmland each year by restoring nutrients and organic matter in the soil necessary for crop growth. The application of biosolids completes a natural cycle in the environment and returns a valuable resource to the land.

The Roanoke Rapids Sanitary District has been applying biosolids to farmland since late 1987. This well managed program consistently meets high standards without adversely impacting human health.

All recycled biosolids must meet strict federal, state and local regulations and standards. When processed, applied and managed under these regulations, biosolids are safe for the environment and the regulations are protective of human health. Criteria or standards vary depending on crop type. Local conditions limit land application due to seasonal variances and crop stage.

The RRSD Wastewater Treatment Plant alkaline stabilizes the biosolids and pumps the stabilized biosolids to a 1 million gallon capacity storage tank. The alkaline stabilization process meets all requirements for pathogen (germs and viruses) and vector attraction reduction (varmints, flies and mosquitoes). The alkaline stabilized biosolids meet all criteria and limits for Class B biosolids.

The RRSD land application program has over 1,535 acres of farm land permitted for the application of biosolids. These farms are located in Halifax, Northampton, and Warren Counties.

The Roanoke Rapids Sanitary District’s biosolids land application program goals are to provide a mutually cost effective and environmentally sound option promoting beneficial utilization of wastewater residuals. Extreme conditions warrant the addition of land ownership to the biosolids application program guaranteeing the District a ready destination for biosolids while reducing the burden on a limited storage capacity. Participation in Roanoke Rapids Sanitary District’s biosolids management program is expected to grow and expand beyond farmland as more end-use sites are identified. Biosolids applications are particularly effective when used on tree farms as well as pastures and row crops. As the District grows and wastewater treatment volume increases, more biosolids will be produced and distributed. Distribution of the biosolids for land application allows the community to take full advantage of this valuable resource.


For more information on the Roanoke Rapids Sanitary District Biosolids Program, please contact:

Steven Ellis, ORC, Plant Manager
Roanoke Rapids Sanitary District
Wastewater Treatment Plant
135 Aqueduct Road
Weldon, NC 27890

or call 252-536-4884.