Skip to main content
scroll to top

Sludge and Septage

Regulating the removal, transportation and disposal of residuals to ensure it’s done in a way that is protective of the environment.

Sludge and septage, while both wastewater products, are different materials: sludge is the semi-solid material produced by water and wastewater treatment processes, whereas septage is the liquid and solid material removed from septic tanks, cesspools, holding tanks, or other sewage treatment/storage units. These residuals can include pollutants and pathogens, such as E. coli, that can potentially harm people, animals and the environment if not handled properly. NHDES regulates the removal, transportation and disposal of sludge and septage to ensure this material is utilized or disposed of in an environmentally sound manner. Residuals can be disposed of by the following three methods:

  • Treated, tested and certified so they can be recycled for beneficial reuse through land application.
  • Disposed of as waste products at a permitted (lined) landfill.
  • Incinerated as waste products at a permitted facility.

Septage Management Videos

Inforation Icon

Did you know?

Did you know?

Biosolids is sludge that has been treated and tested to meet specific criteria for beneficial reuse. Find out more on the biosolids page.

stockpiles of materials on asphalt with a covered area in the background at the Merrimack facility

Facility Permits for sludge or septage 

Any entity proposing to undertake sludge or septage management activities at their facility shall apply for and receive a Facility Permit from NHDES. The permit application process only applies to those sources that are not conducting activities that are permitted under separate authority.  

Apply for a Facility Permit  

fall view of a field with biosoilds that have been dumped and are about to be spread at the direction of a consultant

Land Application (Site) Permits 

Any entity proposing to land apply sludge or septage shall apply for and receive a Land Application (Site) Permit from NHDES. The permit application process only applies to those sources that are not conducting activities that are permitted under separate authority.   

Apply for a Land Application (Site) Permit  

asphalt with green hose dumping the waste from a septic tank into a manhole leading to wastewater facility 

Sludge and Septage Hauler Permitting 

Haulers are required to obtain a permit from NHDES in order to transport sludge and septage materials in the state of New Hampshire, in accordance with and Env-Wq 1600. Once permitted, haulers are required to maintain, and submit to NHDES, records of each load of sludge or septage collected and the final disposal location. NHDES inspects septage haulers biennially to ensure proper records are maintained, and ensure compliance with the Septage Management Rules.  

Haulers Apply or Renew  

Land Application

NHDES issues Sludge Land Application Permits to ensure land application of biosolids is done in a protective manner.

Wastewater-Engineering
Residuals Management Supervisor
anthony.drouin@des.nh.gov
Wastewater-Engineering
Permitting and Enforcement Engineer
judith.houston@des.nh.gov
Wastewater-Engineering
Sludge and Septage Coordinator
wade.pelham@des.nh.gov
Wastewater-Engineering
Septage and Sludge Hauler Permits, Inspector
James.R.Talvy@des.nh.gov