vasealThe Commonwealth of Virginia allows companies who comply with the state permitting process to apply biosolids (sewage sludge) to permitted farm fields as fertilizer. The companies are paid by municipal wastewater treatment plants to dispose of the biosolids, and the material is provided to farmers for free.

Bedford County has adopted an ordinance to monitor the storage of biosolids, but localities have no power to regulate or halt the practice.

Effective January 1, 2008, the responsibility for regulating biosolids (treated sewage sludge) was transferred from the  Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The 2007 Virginia General Assembly passed House Joint Resolution 694 requesting that the Secretary of Natural Resources and the Secretary of Health and Human Resources convene a panel of experts to study the impact of biosolids (treated sewage sludge) on human health and the environment. The meetings of the Biosolids Expert Panel are open to the public. To learn more about the panel’s work

DEQ is in the process of amending the regulations pertaining to the land application and storage of biosolids (treated sewage sludge). In August, 2008 it established the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for Amendment of Regulations Pertaining to Biosolids after Transfer from the Virginia Department of Health to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. The Technical Advisory Committee’s work is scheduled for completion in 2009. Until its work is complete, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) regulations are in effect. For more information about the TAC contact William Norris, Office of Regulatory Affairs, 804.698.4022 or by email.

Click here to read Biosolids Use Regulations.

Sewage/Sludge Biolsolids


List of Permitted Parcels

Bedford County is providing a list of parcels that has been permitted by the state to receive biosolids application. These are permitted parcels only. THey may not have had biosolids applied, and permitted parcels may never have biosolids applied. But the state deems they have met the requirements for application.