What are Biosolids?
Biosolids are a nutrient-rich, organic by-product of the wastewater treatment process. Halton owns and operates 7 wastewater treatment plants within its 4 local municipalities. These plants treat and cleanse wastewater from the residents and businesses in Halton, for the protection of human health and the environment.
How Biosolids are Created
Solids are separated from wastewater during the treatment process
The separated solids undergo a month-long heated, biological process to break down organic matter and eliminate pathogens and odour producing bacteria, to produce biosolids.
Biosolids are produced in a thick liquid form for transportation, storage and farm land application. These liquid biosolids can also be dewatered mechanically to produce a semi-solid biosolids "cake" for land application.
Halton's Biosolids Become Fertilizer
Halton biosolids are recycled as an agricultural fertilizer and soil conditioner. Biosolids can be applied to land only after completing the treatment process shown in the graphic. The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has established quality and safety standards for biosolid processing and re-use.
For decades, Halton's Biosolids Management Program has worked hand in hand with the Region's agricultural community to utilize biosolids for crop production. Halton Region owns and operates 7 wastewater treatment facilities, producing over 35,000 tonnes of biosolids per year.
When conditions permit, biosolids are directly applied to agricultural land. During the winter months and during periods of wet weather, temporary storage is required until weather and field conditions improve.
Future Program Plans
Halton Region continues to support a Biosolids Master Plan (PDF file), issued in 2012, that covers anticipated needs and uses for biosolids through to 2031. Detailed information is provided in the Executive Summary of the Biosolids Master Plan (PDF file).
For additional program information:
- Call Halton Region's Biosolids Operations Coordinator at 905-825-6000 ext. 4494