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Project

Application of drinking water treatment sludges to land: opportunities and implications

Investigating the feasibility of future application of drinking water treatment sludges to land 

This project will review the circumstances and locations where application of drinking water treatment sludges to land have been carried out to date (primarily in the UK and Europe) and review management practices used in the application of drinking water treatment sludges. 

The project will investigate if lessons can be learnt and implications of applying drinking water treatment sludges to land can be understood, particularly with regards to benefits and disbenefits in, and the impact on, phosphorus retention, and in the wider context of addressing Circular Economy goals i.e. working towards ensuring finite nutrients are recycled and waste materials and by-products are used sustainably.

Project Objectives

Research questions to be considered through the project:  

- What are the benefits and disbenefits of applying drinking water treatment sludges to land?

- How does this fit in the context of the circular economy in Scotland?

- What is best practice in terms of application? What information (e.g. which (chemical) analyses of sludge and soil) is required to allow a proper assessment of the suitability for application to land?

- Which measures could (help to) mitigate the disbenefits?

Contact Nikki Dodd