Human-waste sludge from western Pennsylvania treatment facility questioned for safety

tractor fertilizer

Since the early 1990s, Alcosoil, a sludge (or biosoil) used as fertilizer for crop fields, has been produced at the Allegheny County Sanitation Authority (Alcosan). Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that some people are questioning the material, claiming that it contains harmful chemicals, pathogens and bacteria that negatively affect humans and the environment.

Some farmers, on the other hand, say that you can’t tell the difference between cow manure and sludge when it’s spread on a field. Rick Young, a Belmont County, Ohio, farmer who’s been using the sludge for 20 years, says that the sludge helped seven different grasses grow on his pasture.

Alcosan tests the sludge it produces twice each month, and also adds limestone powder to satisfy state regulations about bacteria and pathogens that attract flies and rodents.

Via: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review > Safety of human-waste sludge from Alcosan treatment facility disputed


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Katie Woods grew up in Columbiana, Ohio. Katie likes reading, writing, enjoying the outdoors and DIY projects.


  1. There is no question about what is in sewage sludge of any type processed or not. Just look up the EPA’s 2009 Targeted National Survey of Sewage Sludge from 70-plus waster water treatment plants (WWTP) to see a very out dated short list of what the EPA found at those plants.
    Telling the affected U.S. citizens that the WWTP “tests the sludge it produces twice each month,” is part of the CON the WWTP puts out. Truth is they are only required by the EPA to test for e-coliform and salmonella and then only one strain of nearly 2000 strains. The other part of that CON is the testing for cancer causing heavy metal and chemicals. Of the more than 80,000 produced chemical, they only test for a handful of metals.
    Let’s call a spade a spade. The multi-billion dollar sewage industry and those who support it are nothing more than con artists and the farmer is little more than a sucker. The big loser is the consumer.


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