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Space constraints mean Kamloops biosolids facility can't hold it much longer

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April 20, 2016 - 4:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - If you have ever felt like you are running out of places to store all your stuff, you can probably understand what the city is going through right now. Just their stuff is biosolids, so it's really your stuff, and they are quickly running out of room to store all of it.

When the new sewage treatment plant opened in March 2015, the city had 18 months to plan what to do with the city’s biosolids, Public Works Director Jen Fretz says. A year later space is filling up at the plant and there still isn’t a plan for the waste, she says.

“We have a couple of months left and that is it at this point,” she says. “What we’re trying to do is look for a short-term option.”

She says there’s about two or three months left before the city is full, but it’s an inexact science. A short-term plan would relieve the pressure and allow the city to focus on a long term solution.

“It’s going to be another year before we go back to council with a long-term option,” she says.

She says short-term options could include taking the biosolids offsite, using on city property as part of compost or using it at a land application site.

“My hope is part of that would include composting it with organics from the landfill,” she says.

Right now she says all options are on the table because the city doesn’t have a lot of time.

“If we’re stuck from a rock and a hard place and we’re a week from the poop hitting the fan we’ll have to use whatever option we can find,” she says. “Doing nothing is not option, once we run out of space we can’t do anything more. The stuff keeps flowing though.”

The city's consultation on what to do with the biosolids wasn't satisfactory, Fretz says, which is why plans are now behind schedule.

When the treatment plant was originally commissioned the plan was for the biosolids to be taken to a land application site, but that’s frowned upon now, she says. The new plant produces a different type of biosolids, and 10 times more than the previous plant. The waste the previous plant made went to city composting.

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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