Development of the “Biosolids Nutrient Management Matrix”

Biosolid Spreading

Biosolids are a valuable source of major crop nutrients (particularly nitrogen and phosphorus), stable organic matter and lime, which can be beneficially recycled to agricultural land to improve soil quality and fertility, and to complete natural nutrient and carbon cycles. The Biosolids Nutrient Management Matrix was developed to clarify Cross Compliance Statutory Management Requirement (SMR) No.3 – Sewage Sludge “You must take account of the nutrient needs of the plants when applying sewage sludge” and to more clearly define good practice in biosolids management. The Matrix provides a clear and simple way of managing biosolids nitrogen and phosphorus inputs over crop rotations.

Based on a review of the agronomic benefits and risks to water quality of recycling biosolids to land and discussions between Water UK (representing Water and Sewage Operators in England and Wales), the Environment Agency and Rural Payments Agency, the Biosolids Nutrient Management Matrix was agreed as providing the ‘best’ agronomic and environmental balance for recycling all types of biosolids to agricultural land.

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