Directors ask for biosolid study

Regional District of Nanaimo to look at possible leaching problems from VIU woodlot

Although it has been deemed unlikely for biosolids spread over the Vancouver Island University woodlot to migrate more than a few metres from where deposited, the Regional District of Nanaimo wants to be sure.

The biosolids, collected from district waste treatment plants, are spread on the woodlot as fertilizer.

However, at the Feb. 28 RDN meeting, staff was directed to look into the possibility of contamination, with particular emphasis on the safety of Lantzville’s Harby Road well field.

In a report to the RDN committee of the whole, wastewater services manager Sean De Pol noted such a study was conducted in 2003 by Piteau and Associates and it found the practice to be safe.

However, although District of Lantzville director Brian Dempsey doubted there would be any threat, he stressed the need to ensure that runoff does not contaminate nearby waters.

John Finnie, RDN general manager of regional and community utilities, stressed that the material is nothing like raw sewage.

Regardless, directors voted to spend $7,335 for a further study.