2004 Nutrient Management Protocol for Ontario Regulation 267/03 Made under the Nutrient Management Act, 2002

Part 13 - Nutrient Quality

Table of Contents

  1. Pathogen Treatment Process for Sewage Biosolids
  2. Guideline Requirements not Found in the Regulation
  3. Minimum Beneficial Quality Requirement
  4. Sodium
  5. pH
  6. Boron
  7. Fats, Oils and Greases
  8. Non-Biodegradable Objects
  9. Other Parameters
  10. Blending of Non-Agricultural Source Materials

13.1 Pathogen Treatment Process for Sewage Biosolids

Part 9 of the Regulation sets out legal obligations related to sewage biosolids and refers to a "pathogen treatment process" in this protocol. That pathogen treatment process actually consists of a number of options for treating sewage biosolids that may be imposed by a Director in an approval or order and are set out below.

Option 1: Anaerobic Digestion

Designed and operated in accordance with the conditions set out in section 16.2 "Anaerobic Digestion" of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment publication entitled "Guidelines for the Design of Sewage Treatment Works, July 1984". If the anaerobic digestion process does not meet the conditions set out in section 16.2, go to Option 7 below.

Option 2: Aerobic Digestion

Designed and operated in accordance with the conditions set out in section 16.3 "Aerobic Digestion" of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment publication entitled "Guidelines for the Design of Sewage Treatment Works, July 1984". If the aerobic digestion process does not meet the conditions set out in section 16.3, go to Option 7 below.

Option 3: Waste Stabilization Pond

Sewage biosolids that have been stored for more than 3 months after the storage facility received the last batch of material for treatment.

Sediments withdrawn from waste stabilization ponds which were designed and operated in accordance with the conditions set out in section 19 of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment publication entitled "Guidelines for the Design of Sewage Treatment Works, July 1984" and the waste stabilization pond has not received fresh raw sewage for 3 months or longer.

Go to Option 7, if the waste stabilization pond design or operations does not meet the above criteria.

Option 4: Composting

Material which has been treated by in-vessel, static aerated pile, or windrow composting method, where the temperature of the material is raised to 40°C or higher and maintained for 5 days or longer, and for at least 4 hours during the 5-day period, the temperature in the compost pile exceeds 55°C.

Go to Option 7 if the composting facility does not meet the above stated criteria.

Option 5: Lime Stabilization

Sufficient lime is added to the material to raise the pH of the material to 12 after 2 hours of contact.

Go to Option 7 if the lime stabilization process does not meet the above stated criteria.

Option 6: Air Drying

Materials are dried on sand beds or paved or unpaved basins for a minimum of 3 months. During 2 of the 3 months, the ambient average daily temperature is above 0°C.

Go to Option 7 if the air drying process does not meet the above stated criteria.

Option 7: Other Processes

Other processes may be approved by the Ministry under the Ontario Water Resources Act or Environmental Protection Act, on a case-by-case basis and added as a Pathogen Treatment Process to this Protocol in future.

13.2 Guideline Requirements not Found in the Regulation

Part 9 of the Regulation provides legal obligations that must be met in relation to nutrient quality standards for parameters specified in the Regulation. Parts 13.3 to 13.10 below provide a guideline for additional parameters. If a provincial officer or Director makes an order incorporating any requirements of this guideline or if any of these requirements is set out in an approval issued by the Director, then these requirements also become legal obligations.

13.3 Minimum Beneficial Quality Requirement

Non-agricultural source materials must meet one of the following three conditions before being land applied:

Condition 1

The material must have a "Multiple Index of Enhanced Value (MIEV)" greater than or equal to 1

MIEV = (% dry matter/100) x (% organic matter, dry weight)/15 + (% CCE, dry weight/25) + (% N + % P2O5- + % K2O-, dry weight)/2

CCE = calcium carbonates equivalent, dry weight

N = total kjeldahl nitrogen

Condition 2

The prescribed material has been proven to improve soil quality or productivity or plant quality or growth in a statistically significant way under actual or comparable Ontario environmental conditions.

Condition 3

A liquid material can be applied to growing crops and only during the normally dry period in the summer.

The Ministry can require a generator of a nonagricultural source material to submit data to show that the prescribed material meets one of the three conditions stated in paragraph 13.3, prior to the application of the material.

13.4 Sodium

The Ministry can require generators of all nonagricultural source materials to provide the sodium concentration of the material and/ or the soil, prior to the application of the material.

The application rate of the material does not exceed the maximum permissible sodium addition specified in the following table:

Soil Texture Maximum permissible sodium addition
(kilograms/ hectare/year)
Sands, sandy loams 200
Organic soils, loams, clay loams and clays 500

13.5 pH

Nonagricultural source materials with a pH of less than 6.0 or a pH of greater than 8.5, cannot be surface-applied to growing crops.

13.6 Boron

The Ministry can require generators of all nonagricultural source materials to provide the boron concentration of the material and/ or the soil, prior to application of the material.

The application rate of the material does not exceed the maximum permissible boron addition specified in the following table:

Crop Maximum permissible boron addition
Boron intolerant crops 1 kilogram boron/hectare/year if the hot water soluble boron concentration in the soil does not exceed 1.0 milligram/kilogram of soil, dry weight.
Boron tolerant crops 2 kilograms boron/hectare/year if the hot water soluble boron concentration in the soil does not exceed 1.5 milligrams/kilogram of soil, dry weight.

13.7 Fats, Oils and Greases

The Ministry can require the generators of all nonagricultural source materials to provide fats, oils and greases concentrations in the material, prior to the application of the material.

The application rate of the material shall not result in an excess of the maximum permissible fats, oils and greases addition specified in the following table.

Soil Maximum permissible addition of fats, oils and greases
Clays and clay loams 2500 kilograms/hectare/year
Sands, loams and sandy loams 5000 kilograms/hectare/year

13.8 Non-Biodegradable Objects

The Ministry can require generators of all nonagricultural source prescribed materials to provide concentration of foreign non-biodegradable objects such as but not limited to glass, metals, plastics, prior to application of the material.

The foreign non-biodegradable objects that do not pass through an 8 mesh screen size Tyler sieve (2.36 mm size openings) should meet the following conditions:

The concentration measured in "% dry weight" of plastic objects does not exceed 0.5% of the total sample; and

The concentration measured in "% dry weight" of foreign non-biodegradable objects other than plastics does not exceed 2% of the total sample.

13.9 Other Parameters

The Ministry can require generators of all nonagricultural source prescribed materials to provide data for other parameters and meet additional site management practices, concentrations and /or loading standards.

13.10 Blending of Nonagricultural Source Materials

The Ministry can allow generators to blend nonagricultural source prescribed materials with other nonagricultural source materials prior to land application. In such a case, the materials both before and after blending must meet the requirements of the Regulation and this Protocol.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 14 June 2004
Last Reviewed: 14 June 2004