Biosolids (human sludge)

We've been putting it on for a few years, is proper biosolids, composted by mixing with sawdust.

Have spread it with a spreader with decks, but also spread it well with a Joskin drop bed this year with plenty of RPM's on.

We are actually right next door to where they do the composting,has an interesting smell.....
 

j6891

Member
Location
Perth & Kinross
whats the set up/how do u get it? costs? who spreads? what land can you use it on? any problems with anything bad in it? why does everyone not use it cos im guessing there must be thousands of tonnes.
 

Nearly

Member
Location
North of York
We've been putting it on for a few years, is proper biosolids, composted by mixing with sawdust.

Have spread it with a spreader with decks, but also spread it well with a Joskin drop bed this year with plenty of RPM's on.

We are actually right next door to where they do the composting,has an interesting smell.....
So you're the reason that I can't get any? ;)
 

MrNoo

Member
Location
Cirencester
Had it on a couple of occasions, had to pay, forget how much now, crops do very well after it, esp OSR. Had major issues with spreading (they spread it for me), uneven, ruts and they took an age to turn up. They tipped it throughout the winter into huge piles, including a pile on next doors land (fortunately he was ok about it) Had one lot destined to be spread in the Spring but for some reason it never got spread until the Autumn, wasn't charged for it mind.
You can get quite a bit of plastic in it and plenty of lumps of wood but I'd have it every year if I could, heavy metals are an issue with repeated use
 

franklin

New Member
Why no livestock @static ? Or are you suggesting that livestock produce FYM/ organic matter therefore its need is more questionable?
Sorry, yes I meant that if you dont have access to FYM its great.

whats the set up/how do u get it? costs? who spreads? what land can you use it on? any problems with anything bad in it? why does everyone not use it cos im guessing there must be thousands of tonnes.
Used to be good as free. Now you have to pay. Need to be in a certain distance to treatment works. And you need to take a fair chunk. They do a good lot of paperwork for you. Cant use it pre-malting barley etc.
 
I've used it for years , increasing phosphate levels are more of an issue than heavy metals. Reduces the need for lime also. I would never pay for it, we can only get it through winter so can lead to field damage.
 

Nearly

Member
Location
North of York
I've used it for years , increasing phosphate levels are more of an issue than heavy metals. Reduces the need for lime also. I would never pay for it, we can only get it through winter so can lead to field damage.
They seem to charge the people who can only take it in the dry weather. Supply and demand?
12 months ago they were tipping in in landfill 12' deep, next to a canal, but we need to sample every year? :banghead::banghead:
 

FarmyStu

Member
Location
NE Lincs
I think it depends on the water authority getting rid of the stuff as to whether you have to pay for it. Those with an excess give it away. Those with more customers than sludge charge. Supply and demand rules....
 
We pay for it, but the agent is open to haggling apparently.

They bring it when we ask, all led in to the field its to be spread in, we do the spreading.

My main complaint is there is sometimes a bit of plastic, and I had the spreader fling a bit of fence post out and damage a beacon on the tractor.

But the crops like it!
 

Greenbeast

Member
Location
East Sussex
Why is there such a problem with reusing composted human waste (small scale/domestically) if you guys are spreading it on crop fields?

I'm about to move to my site and will be using a composting loo, will have to spread the result on the boundary trees/woodland as didn't think i could use it in the polytunnel
 

franklin

New Member
Why is there such a problem with reusing composted human waste (small scale/domestically) if you guys are spreading it on crop fields?

I'm about to move to my site and will be using a composting loo, will have to spread the result on the boundary trees/woodland as didn't think i could use it in the polytunnel
They dont like using it on fields destined for anything but animal feed really. Dont think I would want it on my strawberries etc.
 

Brisel

Member
Location
Dorset
I use 5500 tonnes of Wessex Water's digestate cake every year.

£4.75/t delivered & spread with a nitrogen & phosphate value of £10/t. 18 t/ha gives circa 260 kg/ha total P2O5 50% available in yr 1 and 27 kg N in year 1 with the rest locked in organic matter. That's the cost/benefit so I don't mind paying for a steady supply of free organic matter with cheap N & P.

I take it in all year round but have stopped spring spreading before spring barley as the mess of the spreader ruts is excessive (they only come here on wet days!). I'm not supposed to apply it before malting barley or milling wheat so it now goes on before osr or winter feed barley where is helps autumn development, tillers etc. A dose gives 3 crops' phosphate so we spread everything not on a SPZ1 area (borehole) every 3 years. My P indices are still rising so I will reduce some fields to 1 in 4 years to draw down. They won't spread over index 4.5. Low pH soils risk releasing the PTE heavy metals which is another reason they like high pH downland apart from being able to get access all year. Another benefit is a notable reduction in slugs - maybe it's all the curry powder consumed...

W Water have various big growers who take tonnage all year every year & a queue of others who only want some in the summer so it's not hard to see who gets priority. The price has gone up in the last 5 years but I'm assured that it won't go up any further - I know the users of over 50% of Poole & Bournemouth's output & we have all told WW that we won't pay any more. £4.75 only really covers the haulage & spreading but then again they make their money charging households for the seweage rates anyway.

The WW contractor uses Bunning spreaders which don't give an even spread pattern at 12m spacings. The drivers are students or agency workers so frequently bits get double dosed or missed plus they are trying to be keen by speeding up the bed chains instead of just going at a set speed to give a calibrated dose of what I regard as fertiliser. Other water boards use better spreaders with weigh cells, spinning discs & GPS steering driven by better paid operators but it depends on your area. I think Thames also charge a similar amount but have to go well out of their catchment to get rid of 10 million people's crap.

There are still a few sewage works generating lime stabilised sewage but most bigger ones now have AD plants. Digestate has much less smell & no pathogens which is why untreated sewage is so hard to get rid of. You'll need to adhere to the PAS protocols to apply your own to land which for small amounts is just not worth it. The sewgae companies have an EA exemption for sewage applications but there is a regular testing regime for the product & soils based on a mutually agreed code of practice. The only real time it smells is for 24 hours post tipping & for 24 hours after it has been spread.

Here's irony for you - you can spread any kind of unpasteurised muck containing God knows what pathogens & pollutants without any checks other than fiddling the NVZ paperwork yet heavily regulated sewage digestate is restricted! :rolleyes:
 

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