In 2014, 25% of the sludge produced at Swedish municipal wastewater treatment plants was applied to agricultural land. Even though the Swedish heavy metal limits for sludge to be used in agriculture are amongst the most stringent in the EU, more stringent heavy metal limits are proposed. Most sludge applied to agricultural land is recycled within a certification system, Revaq. Revaq has targets for control at source management and improvement of sludge quality. Statistics based on data collected within the Revaq system was used to differentiate between local and general sources of heavy metals and assess the need to improve sludge quality. The analysis indicates that proposed future national limits on the quality of the sludge can be met by most of the sludge. The improvement needed for about 20% of the sludge is feasible through local control at source management. The levels of cadmium, copper and mercury need to be reduced if these metals are not to limit the amount of sludge that may be applied per unit area of arable land. Finally, the long term Revaq targets for cadmium and silver will be difficult to meet.

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