Water Quality Division: Permits: Biosolids/Sewage Sludge

ADEQ's Biosolids/Sewage Sludge Management Program is part of ADEQ’s Arizona Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (AZPDES) program and implements section 503 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1345). ADEQ regulates biosolids/sewage sludge through an AZPDES permit or regulates persons who land apply biosolids.

Sewage sludge means:

  1. Solid, semi-solid or liquid residue that is generated during the treatment of domestic sewage in a treatment works.
  2. Includes domestic septage, scum or solids that are removed in primary, secondary or advanced wastewater treatment processes, and any material derived from sewage sludge.
  3. Does not include ash that is generated during the firing of sewage sludge in a sewage sludge incinerator or grit and screenings that are generated during preliminary treatment of domestic sewage in a treatment works.

AZPDES Permits for Preparers of Biosolids

Persons preparing biosolids for land application (treatment works treating domestic sewage as biosolids for land application) who do not otherwise have coverage under an individual or general AZPDES permit must obtain AZPDES permit coverage.

Biosolids General Permit (for Treatment Works Treating Domestic Sewage)

AZPDES General Permit No. AZGP2013-001 authorizes the treatment of sewage sludge as biosolids for land application if the specified criteria are met. The permit, known as the General Permit for Treatment Works Treating Domestic Sewage as Biosolids for Land Application (“Biosolids General Permit”), will be effective for a period of five years from December 24, 2013.

The 2013 Biosolids General Permit and associated documents are available via the following links:

The Notice of Intent (NOI) for coverage of the proposed treatment activities under the Biosolids General Permit is submitted using the form linked below.

General Permit Eligibility

This general permit is applicable to the following treatment works treating domestic sewage (TWTDSs):
  • privately and publicly owned wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) which prepare biosolids for land application and which do not have coverage under a Arizona Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (AZPDES) individual or general permit containing provisions for the treatment of biosolids, and
  • TWTDS which are not WWTPs and prepare biosolids for land application.
All biosolids must meet the applicable land application or disposal requirements.

Authorization

To obtain coverage under this general permit, submittal of an NOI is required. Each certificate of authorization is based on an NOI signed by the appropriate signatory (Part II.A). The NOI serves as a commitment by the signatory that there will be compliance with the permit conditions.

The NOI and Notice of Termination for the 2013 Biosolids General Permit are available via the following links:

Authorization under this permit requires the permittee to test the biosolids based on the volume and source of biosolids produced.

Monitoring

Monitoring must be conducted and recorded for covered activities according to the provisions of the general permit and any specific requirements of the authorization issued by ADEQ. Monitoring results are required to be submitted to ADEQ in an annual report.

Andy Koester
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
Water Permits Section
1110 West Washington Street, 5415-B-3
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
(602) 771-4689

Forms and Guidance

Land Application

Any person applying, generating or transporting biosolids/sewage sludge in Arizona must register that activity with ADEQ. The Biosolids Program, under 18 A.A.C. 9, Article 10, includes requirements for:

  • Treatment, Transportation, Land Application, and Management of Biosolids;
  • Septage Pumping Services;
  • Class I Management Facilities, other Major Wastewater Treatment Plants and Treatment Works Treating Domestic Sewage; and
  • Management Practices and Application of Biosolids to Reclamation Sites.

Any person interested in applying biosolids in Arizona must complete a Biosolids Land Application and/or Supplemental Request Form. (This includes land application, reclamation sites (ex: mining reclamation sites), biosolids composting and biosolids processing facilities. In addition to the information on the form, the applicator must submit proof of public notice of the potential use of the site for land application of biosolids. (A.A.C. R18-9-1004(C)(5)(g).)

You will need to receive registration notification before applying biosolids on any land application sites.

Submit the completed form to:
Robert Phalen
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
Water Quality Compliance Section
1110 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
(602) 771-7674

Related Statutes and Rules

View state statutes relating to the Disposal, Use, and Transportation of Biosolids: Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS)

  • § 49-255.03 - Sewage Sludge program; Rules and Requirements

View state rules relating to the Arizona Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (AZPDES) Program: Arizona Administrative Code (AAC)

  • 18 A.A.C. 9, Art 10 - AZPDES – Disposal, Use and Transportation of Biosolids

View federal rules relating to the Arizona Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (AZPDES) Program: Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

  • 40 CFR 503, Subpart C - National Standards for Use and Disposal of Biosolids (40 CFR 503.20 through 40 CFR 503.28)

See Also:

The owner or operator of a biosolids surface disposal site must apply for an Aquifer Protection Permit (APP) in addition to complying with the requirements in 40 CFR 503, Subpart C. Other facilities that must apply for an APP include biosolids composting operations and biosolids processing facilities.

If ADEQ determines that the site restrictions and management practices will not protect public health or the environment, ADEQ may require an Arizona Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (AZPDES) Permit.

Arizona Department of Health Services: List of laboratories certified to test for biosolids.

Back