Catawba County Offices, Libraries, and Blackburn Landfill and Convenience Centers will be closed Thursday, July 4th.
All County Parks will remain open for your enjoyment.

Septage, Sludge & Compost

The City of Hickory, City of Conover and Catawba County formed the Regional Sludge Consortium to develop and manage the Regional Sludge Management Facility. The Facility is jointly owned and operated by the City of Hickory with 70.5% ownership, City of Conover with 11% ownership and Catawba County owning 18.5%. Area municipalities take residuals from their waste water treatment plants to the Sludge Facility where it is processed through a series of drying and mixing to produce a quality compost product. The Consortium contracts with Veolia Water North America for the operation and maintenance of the facility.

The compost produced by this facility is available for purchase by area farmers as well as residents. Please contact the Regional Compost Management Facility at 828-465-1401 for hours and fees.

Sludge Credit Application Form:

Disposal of Septage/Sludge is calculated at different rates, depending on the size of the load/truck. Fees are based on a full load/truck capacity:
Septage Collection Transportation & Disposal Fees

Truck CapacityPayment to
City of Hickory
Payment to CountyTotal billed to
Sludge Hauler
GallonsDisposal FeeDisposal FeeDisposal Fee
250 gal25.0012.0037.00
400 gal25.0012.0037.00
1000 gal25.0012.0037.00
1100 gal25.0015.0040.00
1500 gal32.5022.5055.00
1600 gal35.0024.0059.00
1800 gal39.0027.0066.00
2000 gal43.0030.0073.00
2200 gal48.0033.0081.00
2300 gal49.5034.5084.00
2400 gal52.0036.0088.00
2500 gal54.5037.5092.00
2600 gal56.0039.0095.00
3000 gal65.0045.00110.00
3500 gal75.5052.50128.00
3600 gal78.0054.00132.00
4500 gal97.5067.50165.00

The County's portion of the fee is calculated at $0.015 per gallon with a minimum of $12.00 rounded to the nearest dollar.

Hickory's portion of the fee is calculated at $0.0217 per gallon with a minimum of $25.00 rounded to the nearest dollar.

Total fee is based on $0.0367 per gallon with a minimum of $37.00 rounded to the nearest dollar.

The compost available for purchse is sold for:

  • $5.04/yard
  • $15.00/scoop
  • Quantities greater than 40 scoops? Please contact the Regional Compost Management Facility at 828-465-1401 for bulk special rates.

Permitted Septage Management Firms may dispose of septage at two approved sites in Catawba County. These firms or haulers must first be permitted by the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources and then by Catawba County Environmental Health Department before hauling septage/sludge.

After a Septage Management Firm is approved and permitted by the State of North Carolina, the County must also permit it. An application must be completed and submitted to the Utilities and Engineering Office, along with the annual permitting fee for each truck, and arrange for a physical truck inspection with Megen McBride, Environmental Health Supervisor, On-site Sewage Program.

Once a Septage/Sludge Hauler is permitted, a billing or charge account must be opened in order for the County to invoice the treatment of the loads disposed at the approved discharge points. Complete the credit application for sludge pumpers and return it either in person to the Utilities and Engineering Office located at the Government Center in Newton, fax it to (828) 465-8392, or email it to The office will contact you when the account is approved or disapproved.

An approved and permitted Septage/Sludge Hauler must obtain disposal tickets from the Utilities and Engineering Department at the County Government Center at 25 Government Drive in Newton. Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

When Septage/Sludge is disposed of at the approved locations, the disposal ticket for that site must be left at the site. The two approved disposal sites are the Old Brookford Waste Water Treatment Plant located at 2287 1st St SE, Hickory and the City of Newton Waste Water Treatment Plant located at 1407 McKay Road, Newton.

Hickory and Newton have forms to be completed prior to disposing of septage/sludge at their discharge sites. Contact Hickory Public Utilities at (828) 323-7490 or Newton Public Works at (828)465-7460.