Residents complain about human waste fertilizer

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MASCOUTAH, IL (AP) – Residents in southwestern Illinois are raising questions about the use of treated human waste as a fertilizer.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that rural Mascoutah residents want stricter regulations on so-called “sewage sludge” after a farmer fertilized his fields with it last year. Neighbors say the odor is stronger than manure and could be smelled up to four miles away.

An Illinois Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman says officials investigated the case and concluded that rules were followed. Using treated human waste as a fertilizer has been legal in Illinois since 1983.

Sarah Townsend lives near the site where the farmer fertilized with human waste. She says it smells like a dead animal and is worried the waste will spread beyond the field.


Information from: Belleville News Democrat,


  • chejkalcfh

    Ever hear of Milorganite? Same thing,better presented.
    there is nothing fundamentally unsafe about sewage sludge, except it’s vision in your eyes. In most cases it’s even sterilized further than
    the sewage decomposition makes it. Albeit, tomato seeds..
    long funny story ab out someone knowing about the source of milorgainte, made his own, but overlooked that the human body does not digest tomato seeds, one guess what his yard was full of next season?

  • morrow

    In the 60s as a service man, we were told not to eat fruit and veggies in some countries because they were fertilized with human waste, so all those goods came from the states aboard refrigerated ships. Maybe they just didn’t want us to eat human waste from over seas because it,s being used right across the river.

  • Jennifer

    I lived by a field treated with that from a prison near my home. It was a disgusting overpowering odor in the summer which I still believe killed my dog. I also called in MO and was told it was legal. It made going outside in the yard unbearable!

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