A large loader picks up a bucket full of biosolids mixture during application to farmland. (Wikimedia commons image)

Human waste as fertilizer proposal prompts opposition in the Shuswap

Chase area residents seek to spread awareness of potential effects of biosolids

Opposition continues to build on the proposed use of biosolids to improve pasture on the Turtle Valley Bison Ranch near Chase.

Biosolids are a mixture of treated sewage waste, wood chippings and soil or sand; applying them to land is hoped to improve growing conditions.

READ MORE: Opposition to human waste fertilizer at Shuswap bison ranch continues

An initial meeting held by Arrow Transportation, the company that will be transporting and applying the biosolids, prompted Turtle Valley residents to organize their own public meeting, where it was decided the group would be more visible in their opposition.

“We had about 60 residents attend, and support from local First Nations as well. We have organized to have banners, bumper stickers and pamphlets produced to spread through the community, and we discussed as a group our main concerns about the whole issue,” said Connie Seaward, who is taking a leading role in the community’s opposition to biosolids.

READ MORE: Turtle Valley residents call second meeting to oppose human waste as fertilizer

Seaward said the biggest concern within the community is the use on a hill over Chum Lake and near rivers that run into Shuswap Lake.

“We had brought up concerns to Arrow about the site being on a fairly steep hill, and the possibility for runoff from the hill,” Seaward said. “We were told it is common to apply biosolids on steep pitches when reclaiming landfills, but there was no example on actual agricultural land.”

Seaward said Arrow representatives told the community they replicated scenarios in a laboratory and had no failures during the tests.

The other main concern brought up during the meeting was the presence of additional chemicals in biosolids, such as metals or pharmaceuticals, and a lack of publicly-available tests of the material that will be used in Turtle Valley.

READ MORE: Foul odour from city facility frequents neighbouring businesses

“We asked them, if they are so sure about the safety of biosolids, then why not put the community at ease and do testing and show us the results,” Seaward said.

Arrow has confirmed the biosolids which will be used in Turtle Valley are ‘class B’ biosolids—meaning they are not as heavily processed. According to the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association: “in general, there are buffer requirements, public access and crop harvesting restrictions for virtually all forms of Class B biosolids,” and they are “treated, but still containing detectable levels of pathogens.”

Class B biosolids are allowed to be spread on agricultural land in B.C. under the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation, though they are more heavily regulated, including restrictions on being applied near watersheds and sources of drinking water.


 

@Jodi_Brak117
jodi.brak@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Garden wine tasting event offers flash sale for Mother’s Day

Better Earth Wine, Cider & Spirits Tasting and Garden Party will be held May 11

Long awaited Kelowna murder trial is scheduled to begin Monday

Stephen Pirko is charged in the killing of Christopher Ausman in 2014

Okanagan College bring hot bats to beat Dinos

The Coyotes now top the league

Kelowna awards recognize city’s cream of the crop

The 44th Annual Civic and Community Awards were April 24

VIDEO: Large dust devil swirls through downtown Chase

Residents look on as column climbs about 90 feet into the air

Check out this tax break

LETTER: Okanagan resident finds a trick to not paying taxes in Canada

Second dump site of Dungeness crab discovered in northern B.C.

DFO confident new site related to larger April 2 dump

Spot the danger before you play

LETTER: War Amps sends Playsafe message

Northern B.C. high school student reaches 100,000 followers on YouTube

Voice actor, animator, Jericho Fortune has more than 30-million views on his channel GTAGAMER222

University mourns student who died in B.C. canoeing accident

Andrew Milner, 19, was in his second year with the University of Calgary’s basketball program

RCMP arrest B.C. man following threatening Vaisakhi Facebook post

Post made reference to pressure cooker bomb at massive Surrey parade

Osoyoos among B.C. resort towns to get share of $2.5-million in tourism cash

Changes to RMI funding are bringing more money to places like Harrison and Tofino

Arrest made in off-road Okanagan park detour

RCMP air services helps track down 36-year-old suspect

Most Read