Red tractor in a field spreading liquid fertilizer

Land application of wastewater and wastewater treatment residuals involves spreading, injecting or incorporating the wastewater and residuals into the soil. When managed correctly, organic byproducts from wastewater and wastewater treatment residuals associated with food production may have agronomic value as fertilizers and soil amendments, with minimal contaminants. Land application is an excellent way to recycle wastewater and wastewater residuals as long as the material is quality-controlled.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources allows organic byproducts from wastewater and wastewater management to be used in agricultural applications, similar to traditional, commercially available fertilizers and products. Fertilizers are regularly used on agricultural fields to promote growth and crop production. Fertilizers add vital nutrients to the soil, including nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, boron, chlorine, cobalt, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, sodium and zinc. By using wastewater and wastewater treatment residuals, it removes the nutrients from these materials, reduces energy consumption, reduces pollution from manufacturing commercial chemical fertilizers and saves landfill space. Benefits of proper land application of wastewater and wastewater treatment residuals includes the following:

  1. Ensures nutrient management through agricultural practices
  2. Establishes practices to avoid exceeding hydraulic (water) loading rates and runoff
  3. Prohibits application of pollutants not mitigated through the agricultural management (e.g. metals)

For information about domestic biosolids, please visit EPA’s Basic Information about Biosolids webpage.

Meetings


Meeting
Lewis and Clark State Office Building
Gasconade Camp Conference Room
1101 Riverside Drive
Jefferson City, Missouri

More Info:
Video Recording, April 11, 2024

Meeting
Lewis and Clark State Office Building
LaCharrette/ Nightingale Conference Room
1101 Riverside Dr.
Jefferson City, Missouri
Agenda:
Land Application of Industrial Wastewater and Wastewater Treatment Residuals Informational Meeting Agenda, June 27, 2024
More Info:
Video Recording, June 27, 2024

Meeting
Video Attendance Available!
Lewis and Clark State Office Building
LaCharrette/ Nightingale Conference Rooms
1101 Riverside Drive
Jefferson City, Missouri
Agenda:
Land Application of Industrial Wastewater and Wastewater Treatment Residuals Informational Meeting Agenda, July 26, 2024
More Info:
Join the July 26 meeting using Webex

Ongoing Discussions

Land Application Management Plans (LAMPs) are essential to successful land application of industrial wastewater and wastewater management. LAMPs are based on nutrient management and land application practices. The plans identify nutrient and pollutant content of the material, soil assessments, planned vegetation (pasture, crops, hay), nutrient needs based on crop yields or field usage, land application rates, locations of land application, sensitive feature locations and setbacks, land application practices, equipment, operations and maintenance, recordkeeping and reporting.

The department has proposed updates to the Land Application Management Plan template. The department also has drafted an Industrial Nutrient Management Technical Standard for Wastewater and Wastewater Treatment Residuals. This standard establishes land application practices, setbacks, sampling requirements and frequency, and processes for establishing land application rates. Drafts of both documents are available below. Comments on these drafts may be submitted to the department by email to landappenf@dnr.mo.gov

Enforcement Discretion

On June 30, 2023, the department issued a statement to a select list of entities previously authorized to land apply certain sludges, biosolids and other process wastes without a permit according to 10 CSR 20-6.015(3)(B)8. Due to a recent decision by the Missouri Fertilizer Control Board, these companies and businesses will no longer be exempt from department permitting requirements. The letter stated the department’s intent to exercise enforcement discretion for entities performing the continued land application of material formerly licensed as fertilizer, as long as the entity adhered to the minimum operational parameters and conditions set by the department in that letter, including the condition that the entity apply for an operating permit. The department's letter, along with an excel file containing a list of individual materials land applied, their source facilities and the associated entities authorized for land application of those materials is available below.

The department drafted the June 2023 letter to expire at the end of 2023, anticipating that permits would have been able to be issued before the end of the year. On Dec. 29, 2023, the department issued letters to the following facilities, stating the department will continue exercising its enforcement discretion to withhold pursuing formal enforcement action and penalties until their permit can be issued.