Biosolids EMS
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  From Ocean Disposal to Beneficial Use
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The City is committed to managing its biosolids in an environmentally sound, socially acceptable, and cost-effective manner. We are constantly reviewing the program and incorporating continual improvements. Recently the City completed an interim audit of their Biosolids EMS Program. The audit was performed September 28 to October 1, 2015 by a 3rd party auditor. The auditor verified that the City’s biosolids program meets the requirements of the National Biosolids Partnership (NBP) Biosolids Management Program (BMP) and recommended continued certification in the NBP BMP at the Platinum Level status. To view a summary of the findings and the final audit report click here.


The City of Los Angeles, Department of Public Works, Bureau of Sanitation is responsible for collection, treatment, and disposal of wastewater and its by-products.The Bureau of Sanitation operates four wastewater treatment facilities (Hyperion, Terminal Island, Donald C. Tillman, and Los Angeles Glendale) within a 600 square-mile area. Managing 344 million gallons of wastewater produced daily by more than four million residents, the City of Los Angeles processes, recycles, and renews 126 billion gallons of this wastewater annually into 31 billion gallons of recycled water for beneficial water conservation purposes and manages the more than 257 thousand tons of biosolids as a treated valuable commodity. Biosolids are the nutrient-rich organic product of wastewater treatment. During treatment, bacteria and other tiny organisms break sewage down into simpler, harmless organic matter, which contains essential plant nutrients. The City’s biosolids, used in growing animal feed as a safe alternative to chemical fertilizer and animal manure, is now considered a potential renewable source of clean energy.

The Hyperion Treatment Plant (HTP) and Terminal Island Water Reclamation Plant (TIWRP) are responsible for producing approximately 673 and 33 wet tons of Exceptional Quality biosolids per day, respectively. Exceptional Quality biosolids meet the most stringent standards and are treated to above Class A levels, which contain little or no pathogens. Class A biosolids are found in fertilizer sold in home improvement stores and are safe to touch and use in home gardens. The City’s Class A biosolids are used as a soil amendment and fertilizer to grow non-food crops and are also used to produce a compost product that is sold to local landscape companies and used on City-owned property as an amendment.

From Ocean Disposal to Beneficial Use

From 1957 to 1987, biosolids produced by the City of Los Angeles at the HTP were disposed in the ocean. Between 1987 and 1989, biosolids were disposed in landfills. Beginning in 1989, the City started an extensive beneficial reuse program and has continued to beneficially reuse all the biosolids produced at HTP and TIWRP since that time.

The tables and charts below detail the history of the City’s biosolids management program and the success we have had in implementing a cost-effective and environmentally sound program.

To guide the City’s Biosolids Management Program, the City adopted a policy. The Biosolids Policy commits the City to managing the biosolids in a cost-effective, environmentally sound, and socially acceptable manner. The policy outlines the program goals and based on the goals, objectives are set each year to help meet and/or maintain the goals and improve the Biosolids Management Program. Once the objectives are set they are tracked and monitored by the City. At the end of each fiscal year, the City reviews the program goals and objectives and identifies the outcomes achieved. To view current year objectives click the link.

To review past year objectives and program outcomes view the links below.

Each year, the City establishes goals and objectives focusing on continual improvements and environmental performance. The City invites you to participate in our goals and objectives setting process. If you have any goal or objective in mind that you want the City to consider, please contact us using the email address and phone number given below. We value your input and would like to hear from you.

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Click to view larger Digesters at Hyperion
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Digesters at Teminal Island

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