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HRM Staff to Provide Additional Biosolids Information
(Wednesday, August 18, 2010) - Halifax Regional Municipality staff will provide additional information to Council on the practice of using biosolids on municipal land.
Last evening, Council voted in support of a motion initiated by Rockingham-Wentworth Councillor Debbie Hum to seek a staff report that will provide more information on uses of biosolids by HRM, practices in other municipalities, potential alternate uses, testing protocols, and biosolids communications considerations. Once the report is received, Council will discuss its contents and provide direction on future biosolids use by HRM.
In March 2004, Council passed a motion to authorize staff to negotiate with a private company for the planning, construction and operation of a biosolids processing facility at Aerotech Park.
The facility, operated under contract by N-Viro Canada Systems LP, is a component of the Harbour Solutions project, which is controlled by Halifax Water. N-Viro is charged with taking dewatered sludge, stabilizing it with lime, and pasteurizing it, to turn it into a product that can be used as a soil amendment.
Late last week, this soil amendment was mixed at a 1:3 ratio with topsoil, applied along Dunbrack Street, and hydroseeded with a visibly green combination of seed and water. This was an effort to test the efficacy of the soil amendment and topsoil mix in growing grass along this stretch of Dunbrack.
A strong smell resulted from this mix, bringing a number of calls and emails from people living, driving and walking in the area. This smell was not anticipated and efforts continue to determine why it happened and to ensure this is not the case in the future.
Biosolids have been used in limited applications by HRM. These uses have included tree-planting in the street right-of-way, and a small reforestation project in Point Pleasant Park in which trees were removed to allow installation of a line to a pumping station.
N-Viro biosolids meet or exceed provincial guidelines and meet a stringent Class A standard for fertilizer required under the Canadian Federal Fertilizer Act and administered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Media are invited to tour the N-Viro Canada Systems Canada LP biosolids processing facility this Thursday, August 19.
Date: Thursday, Aug. 19
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Location: N-Viro Biosolids Processing Facility, 350 Aerotech Drive, Aerotech Park, Goffs
HRM Corporate Communications
Halifax Water Communications