The University of Washington (UW) and Washington State University (WSU) measured the impact of organic matter in agricultural soils. Organic matter is anything that contains carbon – mostly dead plant and animal matter. Organic matter improves soil health and helps soils hold water. What the UW and WSU researchers found was biosolids helped organic matter more effectively than any fertilizer or soil building tool we have.
Take a proactive role in changing the course of climate change - one flush at a time.
Climate friendly farming
Using biosolids in dry land agriculture (farms without irrigation) stores 17 times more carbon in the soil than carbon released to the atmosphere by trucks and tractors.
Biosolids provide long-term carbon storage – for every truck of biosolids applied to the land, 33 tons of CO2 is stored. Just 1 ton of biosolids provides the same amount of storage as 26 seedlings grown for 10 years!
Forests are major carbon reservoirs
Carbon makes up 50% of the weight of dried wood, so forests can store huge amounts of carbon.
Using biosolids on forests helps heal soils degraded by deforestation. Healthy soils means healthy forests with bigger, carbon-rich trees that can easily pull CO2 out of the atmosphere.
Connecting youth to healthy forests
In Washington, the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust’s education program connects youth to the outdoors and the role biosolids play in healthy forest ecosystems. At their native tree nursery, volunteers prepare seedlings for planting in a potting mix of bark and GroCo compost made with Loop® biosolids from King County’s wastewater treatment plants. This rich, odor-free compost nourishes the young trees and teaches youth about sustainability.
Measuring the impact of biosolids
Green is the new black
Recycling carbon back to our soils is actually something we can do to offset climate change. Research has found that soil organic carbon dramatically increases with biosolids application in addition to improvements to soil physical properties and higher nutrient content. Returning organics to our soils keeps hope alive in nurturing our soils for future generations.
Hear a lifelong forester talk about the benefits of biosolids
Doug McClelland from the Washington Department of Natural Resources tells us how biosolids help create healthy forests. Thirty years ago, Doug played a key role in an innovative 50 year agreement to preserve forests in Washington State. Beginning in the early 1980’s, biosolids or compost made with biosolids was used to restore old logging roads, fertilize working forests, and help preserve recreational areas for Washington State citizens. Today, biosolids are still used to help preserve the beautiful forests in the Pacific Northwest.