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Sludge Program

Sludge Disposal for Industries with Pretreatment Systems

Industries that generate sludge during the pretreatment of their wastewater must have an approved method of sludge disposal.  The methods of sludge disposal typically used by pretreaters for non-hazardous sludges are: 1) transporting to either a landfill or another wastewater treatment system, normally a public owned treatment works (POTW); and 2) land application under a permit issued to the industry. The Bureau of Water issues approvals for the disposal methods of non-hazardous sludge while the Bureau of Land and Waste Management is responsible for the approval of the methods of hazardous sludge disposal.

The Bureau of Water includes either the approved method of sludge handling or a reference to the sludge land application system permit in the wastewater construction permit for the pretreatment system.  All sludge disposal must be in accordance with the approved method contained in the construction permit and any other applicable permit. Any change in the method of disposal must be approved by the Department before it can be implemented.

Transportation. If the proposed method of sludge disposal is hauling to a landfill or another wastewater treatment system owned by another party, the application for the wastewater construction permit must include: the amount and characteristics of the sludge generated; a determination on whether the sludge is hazardous, the name of the receiving facility; the NPDES, ND, or other permit number of the receiving facility, and a recent acceptance letter from the owner of the receiving facility. The acceptance letter must include the amount of sludge to be accepted over a specific time period (e.g. 10,000 gallons per month) and the sludge characteristics.

Sludge Applied to Land Surface. For non-hazardous sludge, if the method of sludge disposal is either land application (applied at agronomic rate) or land disposal (applied beyond agronomic rate but not a land fill) by the industry, a separate state Land Application System Permit must be issue before the state Wastewater Construction Permit can be issued. Please see our Land Application Permit WEB page for more information on this subject For hazardous sludge disposal, please contact the Bureau of Land and Waste Management for their permit requirements.


Bureau of Water . Phone: (803) 898-4300 . Fax: (803) 898-3795 . Contact Us