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Kamloops biosolids not accumulating as quickly as first thought

Image Credit: File photo
June 22, 2016 - 11:36 AM

KAMLOOPS - Kamloops can hold it a little bit longer.

The city’s growing collection of biosolids is OK for a little bit longer according to city public works director Jen Fretz.

“One area is close to being full,” she says. “We have found some other areas on site where we can store the material.”

The new space gives the city roughly six months before the current site is filled, relieving previous concerns it would be full this summer. At that point, she says the city will feel the pressure, but it won’t become a health emergency.

“It’s not like things are going to blow up or explode,” she says.

The city is currently looking for a short-term option to buy time while considering and researching long-term possibilities.

“We have lots of questions to answer and I don’t want to us to jump into something with our eyes half-closed,” she says. “I want to make sure we’re going in eyes wide open.”

The short-term options are much more straight forward, Fretz says, and the most likely option, a land application, could be done in short order.

A land application would mean biosolids could be used for farming or mine reclamation once approved by experts. Fretz isn’t sure what exactly the land application could be for the current Kamloops situation, but says the city is looking for options which would take all the current material in one go.

The new sewage treatment plant opened in March 2015 and offered about 18 months worth of storage space. In April Fretz said there was only room enough for a couple months worth of biosolids. Initial consultation into long-term options weren't satisfactory, which put plans behind schedule.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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