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Residuals Management Section



This section oversees the management of residuals, such as septage and wastewater sludge (aka biosolids). There are three main options available for managing these wastes:

• treatment followed by use on the land
• landfilling
• incineration

Solid Waste Management Rules


Although septage and biosolids are byproducts of wastewater treatment, these wastes are regulated as "Solid Wastes" in Vermont. Please see the Solid Waste Management Rules.

Certifications & Plans

Either approved Sludge Management Plans or Solid Waste Management Certifications are required for all domestic wastewater treatment plants that generate biosolids. Certifications are required for the land application sites where either septage or biosolids are managed. Commercial hauler permits are required for commercial vehicles (with a rated capacity of more than one ton) used to transport these wastes.

Requirements for Sludge Management Plans:

  64KB (3 pages)     MS Word   28KB (3 pages)

Cover Sheet:
  62KB (1 page)       MS Word  25KB (1 page)

Increased Cost for Disposal of Sludge and Septage by Incineration

The state legislature recently amended the law regarding tax on disposed wastes. The modified law now requires the tax to be paid for sludge or septage that is incinerated. The intent of the recent change is to tax disposal options of sludge and septage (landfilling and incineration) and not tax the beneficial use options, such land application and composting.

We have developed a  list of Contract Biosolids and Septage Management Options used by Vermont facilities to assist municipalities and industries plan for management of their biosolids.


A site used for land application of septage Septage being applied
July 2005 - Scenes before and during application of septage.


Indirect Discharge Rules

For information regarding the land application of whey and dairy washwater, please see the Indirect Discharge Rules.



Biosolids Management Guidelines

These guidelines are intended to provide the reader with a summary of the technical elements necessary for proper management of diffuse disposal of sludges and other solid wastes. These wastes can include wastewater treatment plant sludges, septage, wood ash, sludges resulting from the production of paper, and sludges resulting from the treatment of food wastes.

Solid Waste Management Guidelines for Beneficial Use of Sewage Sludges and Similar Wastes  April 2011   (77 pages 184 KB)

Comprehensive Wood Ash Procedure   March 11, 2009 (12 pages 99 KB PDF)

Comprehensive Short Paper Fiber Management Procedure   December 29, 2009 (14 pages 222 KB PDF)

Composting Toilets Guidelines   June 2014 (1 page 170 KB PDF)


Approved Analytical Methods


Procedure Designating Methods for Chemical and Biological Analyses for Residual Waste Management   

        May 17, 2011 (7 pages 385 KB PDF)


Application Forms


Note: All application forms can be downloaded and saved prior to completion. Those that are identified as MS Word forms may also be saved after completion.


To apply for a Solid Waste Management Certification:







    PDF   (5 pages)          MS Word   (5 pages)

Application checklist:    PDF   (8 pages) 

Application Instructions:   PDF   (46 pages)

Personal History Form:      PDF   (5 pages)

Record Check Release Form:   NO LONGER REQUIRED - the Personal History Form contains information needed by DEC Waste Mgmt Div and Dept of Public Safety.

Business Disclosure Form:       PDF   (16 pages)

Financial Capability Forms:   PDF   (23 pages)

Sludge or Septage Facility Certification Fees:   PDF   (1 page)


Quarterly Monitoring Report Forms (including Woodash)


Part A - Signatures (includes instructions)

PDF     45K (2 pages)

MS Word    53K

Part B - Wastes Received (includes instructions)

PDF     54K (2 pages)

MS Word    126K

Part C - Final Waste Mgmt (includes instructions)

PDF   50K (2 pages)

MS Word   89K

Part D - Comments (includes instructions)

PDF   23K (2 pages)

MS Word   32K

Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure "TCLP" (includes instructions)

PDF   89K (2 pages)

Excel   19K

Waste Analysis (includes instructions)

PDF   77K (1 page)

Excel   23K

Groundwater Monitoring and Water Table Depths

Instructions for Groundwater Monitoring

PDF     8K (1 page)

Excel   17K

PDF     40K (1 page)

Soil and Plant Tissue Analysis    

Instructions for Soil and Plant Tissue Analysis

PDF     13K (1 page)

Excel   18K

PDF     13K (1 page)

Woodash Reporting Form (includes instructions)

PDF   50K (2 pages)

MS Word   89K


Note: The above forms require legal sized (8 1/2" x 14") paper.  EXCEPT:  Woodash (8 1/2" x 11")

If you experience problems reading or downloading the PDF forms, we'd like to know about it.   Please send a brief description of the problem by e-mail to Carole Fowler.


Electronic Biosolids Application Rate Calculator

New Version Effective 3/16/2012

(330 kb Excel file March 16, 2012)



For more information, please contact staff:


Allison Lowry

Environmental Analyst

(802) 490-6188


Eamon Twohig

Environmental Analyst
  (802) 490-6189


Watershed Management Division Staff Listing

Wastewater Program Manager:   Ernie Kelley  802-490-6187


Note: Written communications to and from state officials regarding state business are considered public records and therefore may be subject to public scrutiny.

Important Links

 National Biosolids Partnership

New England Biosolids and Residuals Association

What's New?

Quick Links

All documents are in Adobe Acrobat PDF format unless otherwise noted

Before & After

residuals before and after
A site in Londonderry, Vermont in the summer of 1993, before septage was applied. the site has no vegetative cover and soils with low organic matter.

residuals before and after
The same site in the summer of 1997 after septage application. The nutrients, organic matter, and increased moisture retention has promoted lush vegetative growth. The soil has reduced erosion potential.

VT DEC Watershed Management Division 1 National Life Drive, Main 2  Montpelier, VT  05620-3522  Tele: 802-828-1535   Fax: 802-828-1544


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