STREATOR – Over the last six years from 2016 through 2021, Illinois American Water has partnered with Illinois farmers to apply over 109,000 dry tons of residuals and biosolids, rather than sending them to landfills. The water treatment residuals and wastewater treatment biosolids from Illinois American Water’s Champaign, Fisher, Granite City, Peoria, Streator, Jerseyville and Chicago Metro service areas were applied to agricultural fields across the state. Biosolids are primarily organic materials produced during wastewater treatment. Solids generated from the water or wastewater treatment process are held in basins or drying lagoons. In the fall, after crops have been harvested, the materials are land applied. Farmers then plow the field after the application or in the spring to incorporate the residuals into the soil.
As a part of the land application program, strict application guidelines are followed to prevent material from entering landfills, decrease farming-related chemical use and adjust pH to further protect natural resources. Illinois American Water works with land application contractors so the residuals are applied to farmland that has undergone required sampling. Also, application isn’t made to sites that are wet, frozen, or near a potable water supply.