Jessica Wallace/Kamloops This Week
Turtle Valley residents will gather in front of Kamloops City Hall on Saturday, April 27 to protest the application of biosolids to ranch land in their community.
Residents met last weekend to solidify the date of the protest, which will start at 11 a.m.
“It shouldn’t be dumped on agricultural land,” Turtle Valley resident and spokesperson Connie Seaward said.
Arrow Transportation has been contracted in the short term to transport the city’s organic material that results from treated sewage, called biosolids.
The city is working on a long-term strategy to deal with its stockpile.
Arrow’s initial plan to address the city’s stockpile was to transport about 23,000 tonnes of biosolids to a compost and soil fabrication facility on Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band lands to produce compost that could be blended into soil and used to construct a nine-hole expansion of Talking Rock Golf Course.
That project, however, was postponed due to the band running into a permitting issue with the Talking Rock land. The revised plan is to transport the biosolids, likely beginning within the next month and continuing through early fall, to the Turtle Valley Bison Company, where it will be mixed into an enhanced, nutrient-rich soil to reclaim a piece of previously logged property more than 20 hectares in size.
The project was approved by the Ministry of Environment.
“The idea behind our project is that we can go in there and, using these biosolids — which are very rich in a number of elements that help agricultural land, like nitrogen, phosphorus — we can enhance their land and their soil and we’ll also be recontouring the property so that it would be more stable, less prone to erosion,” Arrow Environmental Services regional manager Jeff Mayer earlier told KTW.
“Then we can actually create for them some usable land.”
Residents of Turtle Valley, which is near Chase, about 45 minutes east of Kamloops, have been meeting since the new plans were announced. Concerns and frustrations include the quantity of biosolids to be applied on the land, lack of consultation with residents and the principle against dumping Kamloops’ waste in Turtle Valley’s backyard.
Residents are also concerned about the impacts of transporting the biosolids on traffic.