Biosolids used on agricultural fields (FOI)
Biosolids used on agricultural fields (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 03 October 2019.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Can you tell me which farmers use human waste on our Fields in Jersey and what chemicals are used to make it safe?
I want to know by farmers names and field numbers who use this practice.
I have been informed by environmental health that there is a 10 month block on planting anything after human waste has been sprayed and I have also been informed by the European health organisation that any fields which have had human waste spread are unable grow anything for human consumption.
Treated sewage sludge, known as Biosolids, can be spread on agricultural land to enhance soil quality and recycle valuable plant nutrients. This is widely accepted as a good agricultural and environmental practice.
The sewerage is treated using the following processes, therefore, no chemicals are used to make it safe for agricultural use.
pasteurised for four hours at 55oC
anaerobic digestion process for 30 days at 35oC
water is removed using centrifuge to allow it to be spread on the land
The pasteurisation ensures the Biosolids are treated to the highest standard under the ADAS safe sludge matrix. This guarantees that the Biosolids will be free from salmonella and have a reduction of 99.9999% pathogens. ADAS is the UK’s largest independent agricultural and environmental consultancy.
The ADAS sludge matrix provides guidance regarding timescales of when crops can safely be grown in fields treated with Biosolids. This can be accessed at the following link:
Safe sludge matrix
The following table details the number of fields spread with Biosolids in 2018 and 2019.
Fields sprayed with Biosolids
Number of fields
|2019 as at 30 September
Information regarding the names of farmers using Biosolids and the field numbers are exempt under Article 25 (Personal Information) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 as this data constitutes personal Information.
Article 25 Personal information
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018.
(2) Information is absolutely exempt information if –
(a) it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018; and
(b) its supply to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles, as defined in that Law.
(3) In determining for the purposes of this Article whether the lawfulness principle in Article 8(1)(a) of the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018 would be contravened by the disclosure of information, paragraph 5(1) of Schedule 2 to that Law (legitimate interests) is to be read as if sub-paragraph (b) (which disapplies the provision where the controller is a public authority) were omitted.