An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »


Technical Resources for Biosolids Managers

Information on methods, technologies, management practices, and domestic septage for biosolids managers.

On this page:

Pathogen Equivalency Committee (PEC)

According to the 40 CFR Part 503 sewage sludge standards, before sewage sludge can be applied to land, biosolids must be treated to reduce pathogens using nine methods outlined in the regulation. Alternatively, innovative pathogen reduction processes can gain regulatory acceptance by demonstrating equivalency in a process managed by the Pathogen Equivalency Committee and overseen by the permitting authority. In reviewing an equivalency application, the committee ensures that new processes employed for sewage sludge treatment are robust and effective in pathogen reduction in order to protect human health and the environment. For more information on the PEC, Processes to Further Reduce Pathogens (PFRPs), and Processes to Significantly Reduce Pathogens (PSRPs) visit link below.

Biosolids Analytical Methods and Sampling Procedures

Specific analytical methods are required in order to meet monitoring requirements and demonstrate compliance with 40 CFR Part 503. EPA has also developed guidance and conducted studies related to sampling procedures. 

Top of Page

Wastewater Treatment Train Technologies

When wastewater reaches a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) it goes through physical, biological, and chemical processes which clean the wastewater and remove and treat the solids. The following fact sheets are common wastewater treatment train technologies used to treat, stabilize, and dewater biosolids:

Biosolids Wastewater Treatment Train Technology Fact Sheets:

Use and Disposal Management Practices

Common management practices for biosolids include land application, incineration, surface disposal, and landfilling. EPA’s 40 CFR Part 503 regulates land application, incineration, and surface disposal of sewage sludge while landfilling of biosolids in municipal solid waste landfills is regulated by 40 CFR Part 258.

Biosolids Use and Disposal Management Practices

Top of Page

Domestic Septage

Domestic septage is the liquid or solid material removed from septic tanks, cesspools, portable toilets, Type III marine sanitary devices, or similar systems. 40 CFR Part 503 includes requirements for the land application of domestic septage.

Top of Page