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Industrial By-Product Sludge

Certain industrial processes, such as food manufacturing and paper production, can produce a by-product sludge rich in organic matter. These types of sludges, when properly analyzed and approved, can be repurposed and recycled for use in the enrichment of agricultural soil.

Industrial Sludge

Industrial By-Products Handled by Burch Hydro

There are several different types of non-hazardous by-products that Burch Hydro has successfully used in land application. These products are only available intermittently and in certain areas.

Pulp and Paper Mill Sludge

The production of paper creates a waste sludge that contains C and N.

Food Production Sludge

Food processing plants often generate a waste stream high in organic matter and certain nutrients.


Certain industrial processes can create an ash product, such as wood ash, that has certain soil conditioning benefits and can often be uses as a substitute for agricultural lime.

Determining the Feasibility of Land Application for Non-Hazardous Sludges

Burch Hydro can help evaluate and determine the feasibility for land application of any non-hazardous by-product. Similar to biosolids, several factors must be considered in such an evaluation:

Material Analysis

Sampling and laboratory analysis of the material is necessary to determine and/or confirm its composition.

Regulatory Permitting

Consultation with the EPA and/or other regulatory agencies is required to obtain authorization to land apply any particular by-product. Composing and submitting a Sludge Management Plan and application site permitting are often necessary steps included this process.

Agronomic Benefit Analysis

The potential agricultural benefit to application of the material must be established and proper agronomic rates of application must be calculated.

Learn more about how Burch Hydro collaborates with generators of these types of industrial by-products and provides farmers with use of these by-products as economical alternatives to traditional fertilizers and soil amendments.

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