Land Application of Biosolids Program


The City of Dauphin takes its responsibility to water and wastewater treatment seriously. In 2024, the City of Dauphin will be applying biosolids to agricultural land under a new long-term land application Environment Act License. The intention is that City of Dauphin can then complete long-term planning for the dispersal of biosolids from the wastewater treatment lagoon as operations require.

The City of Dauphin last completed a land application program for biosolids in the Fall of 2008 with the dredging of biosolids from Cells 4 and 6.  The land application of biosolids is planned for the fall of 2024 from the aeration cell and subsequent years from additional cells.

The following information documents provide additional information regarding the land application program:

Additionally, Manitoba Environment and Climate will post the Environment Act Proposal for public comment in the local community paper and on the Manitoba Environment and Climate Public Registry (Environmental Assessment and Licensing Branch | Environment, Climate and Parks | Province of Manitoba (

Frequently Asked Questions

Biosolids are a nutrient-rich, organic solid by-product of the wastewater treatment process. The City of Dauphin wastewater treatment lagoon sewage is received by two forcemains directly to an aerated primary cell and six storage cells, where the solids settle out. The primary cell and storage cells are nearing their holding capacity for biosolids and require dredging and removal/management.

There are only two options available for biosolids management:

  1. Landfill the biosolids or, 
  2. Land application to farmland. 

The Province of Manitoba and the City of Dauphin do not support the landfill option as it is the least sustainable approach. Putting biosolids into landfills uses up space within the landfill, generates unwanted gas, costs more and also create leachate within the landfill. Biosolids land application is a more sustainable approach to biosolids management as it allows for the reuse of this material as a rich nutrient source for crop production.

Biosolids land application means applying biosolids to soil to supply nutrients to crops and improve soil structure. Land application is a widely accepted method to reuse biosolids. Biosolids land application is regulated by the Province of Manitoba, including requirements for soil suitability, timing of application, rate of application, setback distances, etc. 

The City of Dauphin’s land application program will apply biosolids to local farmland and will be required to follow Provincial regulations and licensing requirements to ensure the sustainable and environmentally sound reuse of the biosolids material.

Biosolids land application programs are regulated by The Environment Act of Manitoba and require an Environment Act License. Biosolids land application programs are also regulated by the Manitoba Water Protection Act and the associated Nutrient Management Regulation (62/2008).

Biosolids contain slow-releasing nutrients that are essential for plant growth. Biosolids add organic matter to improve the soil’s ability to absorb and store moisture and protect against erosion. The use of biosolids reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. Farm producers use biosolids to improve crop growth and yield. Crops can use the nitrogen and phosphorous found in biosolids very efficiently because the nutrients are released slowly throughout the growing season. The crops can absorb the nutrients as they grow.

Land application of biosolids occurs at agronomically recommended rates based on the crops being grown and the yields produced. There are limitations to the types of crops that can be grown on lands that recently receive biosolids, these include: cereals, forages, oil seeds, corn, field peas, lentils, and soybeans. Biosolids can not be applied to land where there are to be fresh eating vegetables and no grazing of livestock can occur for three years following land application.

There are essential steps to occur before land application of biosolids occurs, these steps are: 

  • An Environment Act Proposal must be developed, that includes public notification, an evaluation of the environment and identification of mitigation measures that need to be implemented during the land application program. The Environment Act Proposal is then submitted to Manitoba Environment and Climate for approval. The target for this submission is February 2024.

  • Manitoba Environment and Climate reviews the Environment Act Proposal for accuracy and to ensure environmental protection, and if deemed suitable, an Environment Act License would be granted. The anticipated granting for the Environment Act Licence is August 2024.

  • After the Environment Act License is granted, then land application may occur; the target for the land application event to occur is in the Fall of 2024 after harvest.