This program of the Waste Management and Prevention Division oversees the management of residuals, the semi-solid material that is produced as a byproduct of the treatment of industrial or municipal wastewater. Examples of residual materials include wastewater treatment sludges, septage, short paper fiber, wood ashes and sludges generated during food processing.
For a broad overview of biosolids and septage management in Vermont, and of associated research, please see the Program’s working, draft whitepaper: “Wastewater Treatment Sludge and Septage Management in Vermont” .
Approximately 65,000 wet tons (~10,000 dry tons) of wastewater sludge is generated annually by Vermont's wastewater treatment facilties. The primary options for final management of this material include:
- biosolids - treated wastewater sludge that meets State of Vermont pollutant limits and USEPA pathogen reduction requirements may be land applied to certified agricultural fields for agronomic value or, upon further treatment of pathogens, be distributed to the public as a source of fertilizer
- landfill disposal - typically after dewatering; or
- incineration - at an out-of-state solid waste facility
About 55% of Vermont residences utilize septic systems, the highest rate in U.S., and approximately 50M gallons of septage was pumped from Vermont’s septic systems in 2015.
Septage Haulers operating in Vermont (pumping and/or disposing) must pay a fee of $10.00 per 1,000 gallons pumped, rounded to the nearest 1,000 gallon. Fees are due quarterly, and submitted using the Septage Reporting and Payment Form (pdf).