The Macon Water Authority

790 Second Street • Macon, GA 31202-0108 • (478) 464-5600

Macon Soils

The Macon Water Authority has worked for years to be an environmentally conscious steward to Macon and surrounding communities.  As a part of this effort, in 1992, the MWA began supplying treated biosolids free for area farmers to use as fertilizer.  In 1998, Macon Soils (MSI) was established as a non-profit entity of the MWA to continue this process. 

Macon Soils supplies biosolids and other nutrient rich materials to farmers as a fertilizer or lime supplement.  Biosolids are the remnants removed from wastewater, as they are biologically digested, thickened, and then processed to remove water.  MSI land applies around 23,000 tons of biosolids generated by the Macon Water Authority to local farmers.  MSI also spreads approximately 1,000 tons of lime-rich mud annually produced by the Frank C. Amerson, Jr. Water Treatment Plant.

Many factors are taken into consideration to ensure MSI provides a safe and reliable product to farmers.  Because the wastewater plants where the biosolids are processed involve a biological process, a great deal of sampling and monitoring takes place.  From the time the sludge enters the plant, goes through the treatment process, and then passes on to the dewatering facility, as many as 30 days may have passed.  The biosolids are tested for the amount of nutrients and other elements to determine the application rate for each crop.

At the application site, buffer zones are maintained around houses, wells, roadways, waterways, and property lines, to ensure a safe environment is maintained.  Detailed records are kept on every applicatoin site.  These records, coupled with the soil samples, are made available annually to the landowner as long as the site remains active.

Recycling 23,000 tons of biosolids – which fill about 1,600 large dump trucks – saves money for landowners, the MWA, and the many customers of the MWA.  To place the biosolids in a landfill – a common practice used in the past – the cost to the MWA would be from $40 – $60 per ton.  The cost to recycle the biosolids to spread on local farms is approximately $24 per ton – a substantial savings, not to mention the additional environmental and agricultural benefits from recycling biosolids, as by-products of conventional wastewater treatment processes.

To find out more about biosolids and the Macon Soils program, please contact Blaine Harrell at 478-464-5633.


Macon Water Authority
790 Second St.
P.O. Box 108
Macon, GA 31202-0108
(478) 464-5600
(478) 741-9146

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