So what are you supposed to do with 100 tonnes of sewage sludge? The regional district just found out

Protesting the transport of biosolids near Merritt this week.
Image Credit: Twitter via @Asambc

KELOWNA - If the Central Okanagan Regional District has temporarily solved its sewage sludge disposal problem by trucking it to a site near Clinton, it’s partially because they can’t look to their nearest neighbours for help - they’re full.

“We just don’t have the capacity, so we can’t help,” said Kevin Van Vliet, manager of waste water services for the City of Kelowna. “We might be able to take a truck or two but that’s it.”

Delivery of biosolids from the Westside regional wastewater treatment plant has been disrupted by a continuing roadside blockade of BioCentral, a private composting company with a facility on Highway 8 west of Merritt in the Nicola Valley.

The regional district said two of its delivery trucks had voluntarily turned back rather than go through the roadside protest staged by local residents opposed to the facility and its operations. It has been trucking about 100 wet tonnes of biosolids each week to the Merritt facility since the beginning of October.

Kelowna’s biosolid plant delivers about 27,000 tonnes to a shared facility near Vernon, of which 18,000 tonnes comes from Kelowna itself.

“We’re watching the situation,” said Van Vliet. “Unfortunately, this stuff doesn’t stop piling up."

While regional district member communities share many services, the disposal of biosolids isn’t one of them. Kelowna and Lake Country deliver to a facility they share with Vernon in the North Okanagan, where it is a constituent of OgoGro, the popular gardener’s compost.

Wastewater from West Kelowna and Peachland, plus the two Westbank First Nation reserves IR#9 and IR#10 is treated on the Westside, with the biosolids trucked to the facility near Merritt.

In a press release sent out March 12, the regional district said it would temporarily transport future loads to an approved site run by a previous supplier, near Clinton B.C.

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

Colin Hugh Martin
How a Shuswap man smuggled loads of cocaine, ecstasy and pot across the border
He used a fictitious company, helicopters, and encrypted Blackberries to move the drugs back and forth between Canada and the U.S., until undercover agents busted the operation in 2009.  Now, after a nearly ten year legal battle, Colin

Top News