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Technical Resources

Prairie Research Institute

Study tracks emerging contaminants from landfill to treatment plant to application

Treatment plants can effectively remove microplastics and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from wastewater before they’re discharged to lakes and rivers, but large amounts of contaminants end up in solid waste, called biosolids, often used on agricultural fields as soil nutrients. By land applying this material, these contaminants then are re-released back into the environment.

Bay Journal

How PFAS, microplastics join forces as a synergistic threat

The prevalence and pervasive nature of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in our waterways are alarming. A study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection […] found that 76% of rivers and streams tested in Pennsylvania contained PFAS — highly toxic chemicals that pose severe health and environmental risks.

Cape and Islands

Environmental advocates plan to sue EPA, could lead to ‘Sludgement Day’ on Cape Cod

Environmental advocates are planning to sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for not regulating sludge. Sludge is the solid material that’s left over at the end of the wastewater treatment process. Treated sludge, (biosolids), is used as a fertilizer, but it contains the harmful ‘forever chemicals’ PFAS, which don’t break down and have been linked with cancer.

Southern Environmental Law Center

Groups sue to stop PFAS pollution in northwest Georgia

On behalf of Coosa River Basin Initiative, the Southern Environmental Law Center filed a lawsuit against the city of Calhoun in Federal District Court for violating federal law and allowing harmful pollutants in drinking water.


Water tests in Steuben County show high PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ in areas adjacent to sewage sludge spread

Water tests in parts of Steuben County show the presence of toxic PFAS—or “forever chemicals”—significantly higher in local drinking water sources adjacent to where sewage sludge, a type of fertilizer, is spread.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns even trace amounts of some PFAS chemicals found in drinking water may pose health risks.

News Center Maine

Studies look into exposure and mental impact of PFAS

It’s been called a “slow-motion” disaster. Contamination from toxic chemicals known as PFAS seeped into the water supply of hundreds of farms and properties across Maine. The source was wastewater sludge trucked to farms and spread as fertilizer for decades. Now, two doctors are taking a deeper look at Mainers dealing with the emotional toll caused by the ongoing crisis to provide better health monitoring and mental health support in the future.

Yahoo Life

Officials call for action against carcinogenic farming sludge: ‘It’s dangerous that we’re not taking this more seriously’

Long billed as a cheap fertilizer and irrigant, sludge may, in fact, pose devastating health risks.

In July, The State, based in Columbia, South Carolina, published an investigation that linked the substance to toxic “forever chemicals” in waterways.

Google Maps

Rainbow City Water

At Utilities Board of Rainbow City, we are committed to providing safe, high quality water services to our community, while maintaining a standard of excellence in customer service and environmental conservation.

Visit their website: rbcwater.net.

Food and Water Watch

How Sewage Sludge Carries Toxic PFAS from Toilet to Table

Afew years ago, state testing at dozens of Maine farms uncovered alarming levels of toxic PFAS contamination. These forever chemicals were in the soil and water, crops and animals. Farms throughout the state were forced to shutter or cull their herds. 


Getting Ready: How York is fighting back against forever PFAS chemicals

Last fall, The York Weekly reported that the York Sewer District is suing Dupont and other chemical companies because the PFAS they manufacture contaminates the biosolids removed from the town’s wastewater. 

Disposing of this sludge is more expensive because of a 2022 Maine law that bans spreading it as fertilizer on farmlands.

Los Angeles Times

Sludge compost is an increasing source of microplastics, researchers say

A team of UCLA researchers has put a new spin on the 1970s rock classic “Dust in the Wind” — only this one is grimmer and grimier than the original hit by Kansas.

They found that wind picks up microplastics from human-sewage-based fertilizers at higher concentrations than previously known, and may be an “underappreciated” source of airborne plastic bits, flakes and threads.

The Tyee

Reducing the Forever Chemicals in the Food We Eat

British Columbia doesn’t currently test agricultural soils for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS or forever chemicals, which have been linked to serious health concerns. Teflon, known for its use in non-stick cookware, is a well-known PFAS.

Eco-Innovation | Euronews Green

The nature-based carbon sequestration technology is particularly successful at lowering nitrous oxide emissions. Biochar could help farmers achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. A recent review of more than 200 field studies worldwide examined the impact of the nature-based carbon sequestration technology on agricultural emissions. The results were promising.

New EBI Position Paper

Sewage sludge can be turned into a safe and valuable phosphorus fertilizer by using it as feedstock for pyrolysis and gasification, resulting in a net positive effect on the climate.

In the EU Fertilizing Products Regulation, sewage sludge was excluded from the list of eligible feedstocks for pyrolysis & gasification materials to be used in agriculture…