Truck carrying controversial sewage sludge from West Kelowna spills load

FILE PHOTO - Protestors occupied Premier Christy Clark's constituency office in West Kelowna, April 16, 2015

KELOWNA - Crews wasted no time yesterday cleaning up after a truck overturned and dumped a load of biosolids being delivered from the Central Okanagan Regional District.

The driver reportedly hit an icy patch before rolling over on Big Bar Road near Jesmond, B.C. spilling about a quarter of the 20 cubic metres of class B biosolids it contained, the sludge left over from the Westside Regional Wastewater Plant.

Emergency services and spill response crews worked overnight to contain the spill, as well as recover various fluids and fuel from the overturned truck, according to a media release from the regional district.

Spokesperson Bruce Smith says the crews had a challenge in setting up spill recovery equipment on the partially frozen waterways around the crash site.

He describes the biosolids as treated, nutrient rich by-product of the wastewater treatment process, but numerous protestors call it toxic sludge.

The regional district has been diverting about 100 tonnes of biosolids each week to a facility near north of Clinton, B.C. since protests errupted in the Nicola Valley around BioCentral’s disposal facility. The truck turned over about 10 kilometres from its destination.

Residents say the sewage sludge is toxic and want the practice of spreading it on open land stopped. Aboriginal leaders from the area occupied Premier Christy Clark’s West Kelowna contituency office last April demanding a moratorium on the practice.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infonews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.


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