LETTER: Biosolids used safely as fertilizer

Dear Editor:

Re: Something Smelly About Sewage Rules, May 3 Mailbox

article continues below

I would like to take the opportunity to clear up some misconceptions around biosolids and how they are used throughout B.C. In B.C., biosolids can only be applied to the land when there is a benefit. Companies cannot apply biosolids to the land as simply a means of disposal. Biosolids are used as compost or fertilizer on land. The nutrients in the biosolids make soils healthier, similar to animal manure.

In B.C., "biosolids" and "sludge" do not mean the same thing, as regulations do not allow the land application of sludge. Sludge is material generated during the wastewater treatment process before any beneficial use is met. Biosolids are sufficiently treated to reduce odours and harmful substances, stabilized, and tested to ensure treatment requirements and quality criteria are met. Biosolids not used as fertilizer are sent to a landfill, contributing to methane production, increased greenhouse gases and increased costs to landfills.

Regulation of biosolids falls under the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation, which is designed to protect human health and the environment. Biosolids have been applied safely to a variety of locations in the Nicola Valley - and around the province - for more than a decade.

Mary Polak, Minister of Environment

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