Lands disturbed by any number of activities like mining, development or natural events such as fires, often exhibit poor conditions for plant growth. These activities may remove topsoil from these sites and/or bring to the surface materials with poor moisture holding capacity, low availability of plant nutrients, and, in some cases, constituents that may inhibit germination and establishment of vegetation.
Without a vigorous vegetative cover, erosion by water or wind can cause loss of soil materials from these sites, leading to degradation of sensitive watersheds and impacting fisheries and wildlife. Large-scale erosion on these sites further limits the establishment of cover. Consequently, many of these sites lay barren and unproductive for years after the completion of the activities that originally disturbed them.
Environmental regulators and site owners and operators find biosolids and biosolids-derived products to be a cost-effective solution for restoration of these sites. The combination of the low cost and demonstrated efficacy of these products – a combination that cannot be found with traditional chemical fertilizers – leads many managers of such sites to incorporate these materials in their reclamation plans.
Application of biosolids and biosolids-derived soil supplements have been demonstrated to aid in the establishment of a robust vegetative cover on disturbed sites safely and quickly. These products provide essential constituents of topsoil, namely the soil-building and water-holding attributes of their organic matter component. Moreover, the availability of plant nutrients delivered with these materials enables flourishing growth of vegetation, thereby reducing the potential for off-site impacts due to erosion.
A dense and sustainable cover on these sites also allows repopulation by local fauna, ranging from soil micro-fauna and earthworms to wildlife like deer, turkey and even bear. Additionally, plants common to the region will often pioneer on these sites and over time, stands of soft and hardwoods may become established.
Synagro’s Technical Services team is well qualified to work with the owners/operators of disturbed sites to compile the data and information needed to obtain regulatory approvals for reclamation with biosolids. Once approvals are in hand, Synagro will transport the product to the site, apply the biosolids at the approved rate and prepare the site for seeding and mulching as prescribed in the reclamation plans. Follow-on sampling and analyses of the soil and surface water collection areas, along with reporting to regulatory agencies as appropriate, can also be undertaken by Synagro.