Water Quality Division: Permits: Biosolids/Sewage Sludge

On March 31, 2004, the U.S. EPA Region 9 approved ADEQ's Biosolids/Sewage Sludge Management Program for implementation in Arizona, except in Indian Country. As of March 31, 2004, ADEQ serves as the sewage sludge program and enforcement authority in Arizona. The U.S. EPA maintains an oversight role.

ADEQ's Biosolids/Sewage Sludge Management Program implements section 503 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1345) and requires that any person applying, generating or transporting biosolids/sewage sludge in Arizona must register that activity with the department. 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.

The Biosolids Program is regulated under 18 A.A.C. 9, Article 10 and 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.

Incineration of biosolids is prohibited in Arizona.

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

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. Click Individual Permit for information on individual AZPDES permits and the new Biosolids General Permit (for Treatment Works Treating Domestic Sewage).

Persons using biosolids for land application must register the activity with ADEQ.

See Also:

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

To Apply Biosolids in Arizona

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

Biosolids/Sewage Sludge Management Program Submission

On November 26, 2002, ADEQ sent its Biosolids/Sewage Sludge Management Program submission to U.S. EPA Region 9 for review and approval. ADEQ revised the Attorney General Statement and the Program Description in October 2003. U.S. EPA determined that ADEQ's submission was complete and published notice to this effect in the Federal Register on November 21, 2003. U.S. EPA solicited comments on the notice until January 05, 2004. U.S. EPA received only one comment on the proposed action.

On March 31, 2004, the U.S. EPA approved the Arizona Biosolids/Sewage Sludge Management Program.

The components of the revised Biosolids Management Program Submission are:

For more information, please contact Robert Phalen - (602) 771-7674.