Topsoil containing sewer sludge - Knowledgebase Question

Chicago, Il
Avatar for chitownjoh
Question by chitownjoh
July 12, 2010
The topsoil I purchased for my vegetable garden smells like it contains sewer sludge. If it does contain sewer sludge is it safe to use for vegetables?

Answer from NGA
July 12, 2010
If it contains sewer sludge it is not recommended for use in a vegetable garden because of the high rate of heavy metals inherent in sewer sludge. It might be that the top soil does not drain properly and that's why you're smelling a foul odor. I'd check with the source of your topsoil to make sure it doesn't contain sludge. Or have a soil analysis done by a private lab before using it to grow vegetables.

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