The Lancaster County Conservation District, under a delegation agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), assists with the administration of the Biosolids Program in Lancaster County through both compliance assistance and educational outreach. The District believes that its involvement in the land application of biosolids will serve to better protect the county's natural resources and to promote the sustainability of our agricultural lands.

What Are Biosolids?

Biosolids are wastewater solids (sewage sludge and residential septage) that have been chemically or biologically treated to produce a nutrient-rich organic material. Only those biosolids that meet strict quality standards for pollutants, pathogens and vector attraction may be land applied for beneficial purposes. All other biosolids must be disposed in a landfill or incinerated. Biosolids are land applied to agricultural fields by certified applicators to meet agronomic crop needs. This material contains nutrients and trace elements necessary to maximize crop growth and yield, allowing farmers to save money by reducing the need for expensive commercial fertilizers.

The Conservation District conducts annual site visits to permitted farms in the county that are actively receiving biosolids to verify that fields receiving biosolids have a fully implemented Conservation Plan to protect the soil and water resources. It is the intention of all parties involved in biosolids application to keep the biosolids in the fields where they can be used by crops. An implemented Conservation Plan minimizes the soil from leaving the site while helping to maintain high quality water resources both on the property and downstream.

For further information about biosolids, please contact Kevin Seibert, Agriculture Compliance Coordinator at 717-299-5361, ext. 125.