This BBC article says biosolids make soil "fluffier", among other benefits. How?

Adding humanure also changes soil structure, making it more resilient, preventing erosion and balancing out moisture, says Moss. It makes dirt fluffier, so water passes through easier. Conversely, in drought conditions, this also helps it retain water. The less compact soils are also softer, enabling seedlings to take faster and grow stronger roots, producing better yields.


1 Answer 1


What are Biosolids and how do they work?

a biosolid is a product of the sewage treatment processes and is a semi-solid sludge of organic matter, nutrient-rich organic compounds. Here I list several reasons as to why biosolids would make the soil 'fluffier' and and better

  • As I said earlier biosolids are typically made out of organic matter, organic matter is carbon-based and biosolids are usually biological material (decomposed feces, urine and et cetera).

  • If you are not familiar with the normal decomposition processs it is a biological material (banana, apple, feces and et cetera) that is decomposed by microbes, molds, fungi and etc

  • biosolids are biological and/or organic material so what I just stated above applies to biosolids as well

  • Think of what you flush down a toilet or what goes down a sewer drain, are those things carbon based and biological? (human feces is an organic-compound and it goes in the sewers)

  • So now we know that biosolids are like other organic-compounds, how does this maker the soil fluffier. When something undergoes decomposition it turns into fresh brand-new soil, and quite obviously this new soil would be much more higher-quality and better than over-used old soil.

  • Here it states that organic material in a landfill produce gases due to decomposition so it makes sense that the same process would happen underground where microbial decomposition can release gases in the soil thus making the soil fluffier

So I can conclude that biosolids do, in fact help soil and make it fluffier and better.

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    $\begingroup$ I think you missed one crucial part. When something undergoes microbial decomposition, those microbes release gas as byproduct. THAT'S, I suppose, how biosolids make the soil fluffier (that is, with more air inside) $\endgroup$ Sep 3 at 11:09
  • $\begingroup$ @SergeyZolotarev Thank you for pointing out my mistake. You're reasoning for how soil becomes fluffier makes sense, I will research about gas from microbial decomposition and i'll make sure to edit sometime soon. $\endgroup$
    – Tardy
    Sep 3 at 14:45
  • $\begingroup$ healthy soil atracts earthworms and THEY aerate the soil and brings air down to the roots of plants.there is nothing new in the article,human,animal and plant waste have been used to add nutrients to soil from the day we started to grow crops. $\endgroup$ Sep 3 at 15:37
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    $\begingroup$ @trondhansen Thank You for Commenting. I understand earthworms help decompose and aerate the soil, however Earthworms are not the only way of decomposition, there is mold, fungi and other microbes help decompose the soil, you can consider Earthworms one of them on the second bullet point, have a good day. $\endgroup$
    – Tardy
    Sep 3 at 15:46

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