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Sewage Sludge and Biosolids: Am I Regulated?

Lists activities involved in the disposal or use of sewage sludge and biosolids, water treatment plant residuals, and domestic septage that require a permit, registration, or notification from the TCEQ. Links to pages with more complete information on requirements for each activity.

Before the final use and disposal of sewage sludge and biosolids in Texas, consider whether you need to contact the TCEQ:

  • To process or dispose of sewage sludge or biosolids or apply it to the land, you must first obtain an individual permit. Class B biosolids is a classification of sewage sludge based on the levels of disease-causing organisms (pathogens). For a complete legal definition of Class B biosolids, see Title 30, Texas Administrative Code (30 TAC), Section 312.8Exit the TCEQ

  • To apply domestic septage to the land, you must first register with the TCEQ. Domestic septage is the material pumped from septic tanks and similar wastes—but not chemical toilet waste or grit and grease trap waste. For a complete legal definition of domestic septage, see Title 30, Texas Administrative Code (30 TAC), Section 312.8Exit the TCEQ .

  • To land apply or dispose of water treatment residuals to the land, you must first register with the TCEQ. Water treatment residuals are generated during the treatment of surface water or groundwater for potable use. For a complete legal definition of water treatment residuals, see Title 30, Texas Administrative Code (30 TAC), Section 312.8Exit the TCEQ .

  • To apply Class A or Class AB biosolids to the land, you must first notify notify the TCEQ. Class A or Class AB biosolids has been treated to reduce pathogens and its attractiveness to vectors to a greater extent than is achieved in Class B biosolids. For a complete legal definition of Class A or Class AB biosolids, see Title 30, Texas Administrative Code (30 TAC), Section 312.8Exit the TCEQ

Updated 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 312 Rule for Sludge Use, Disposal and Transportation

An updated version of the 30 TAC Chapter 312 rules were adopted by the Commission on April 23, 2020. This new rulemaking clarifies the intent of existing requirements, removes inconsistencies, and improves readability.

A section by section discussion of changes, the response to comments on the rule changes and the rules can be found at the following link: https://www.tceq.texas.gov/assets/public/legal/rules/rule_lib/adoptions/17035312_ado_clean.pdf. The rules can also be found under the Secretary of State webpage at the following link: https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=4&ti=30&pt=1&ch=312Exit the TCEQ.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Land Application Team of the TCEQ Water Quality Division at P.O. Box 13087, MC-150, Austin, Texas 78711-3087. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Land Application Team (Attention Biosolids) by phone at (512) 239-4671.