August 05, 2015 - 10:12 AM
MERRITT - Opponents of the shipment of biosolids to the Nicola Valley near Merritt have gained some ammunition, thanks to a recent lab analysis from a well-known environmental group.
Suzuki Foundation senior science and policy adviser John Werring examined one biosolids deposit, believed to have come from a sewage treatment plant on Annacis Island, a mainly industrial area of Delta, at the mouth of the Fraser River.
Biosolids, which are the organic materials left over from recycled and treated sewage, and Werring says chemicals and contaminants from Annacis Island are transferred to the sludge.
He says many of the contaminants are hydrophobic, meaning they won't dissolve in water, so they remain in the biosolids, which are then shipped to places like the one in Merritt, where a composting facility is operating.
According to Werring, the lab analysis of biosolids from Annacis Island contained alarmingly high amounts of dangerous toxins, with heavy metal content well in excess of provincial guidelines.
The Ministry of Environment says biosolids contain nutrients essential for plant growth and can be safely applied, but critics of the Merritt-area biosolids operation say it is too close to the Nicola River, which supplies drinking water to the region.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2015