Turtle Valley residents are now pushing for official tests to be done on the biosolids mixture that will be applied at the Turtle Valley Bison Ranch, hoping publicly available test results will help bring support for their opposition to use of the substance. (File photo)

Turtle Valley residents seek testing of processed sewage mixture for chemicals

Community wants to know what biosolids contain before they are spread

Residents of Turtle Valley are seeking official testing of the biosolids material that will be applied at the Turtle Valley Bison Ranch, hoping the results will fuel support of their opposition to the use of the substance.

Since an initial meeting between Turtle Valley residents and Arrow Transportation, the company planning to apply a mixture of processed sewage waste, wood chippings and sand known as biosolids to land at the bison ranch, some members of the community have made their opposition well heard.

READ MORE: Human waste as fertilizer proposal prompts opposition

Concerns from the community surround the potential for contamination of soil, water and crops in the area, fueled by studies which show the potential for chemicals, pharmeceuticals and metal residue being present in biosolids. The proposed area where the biosolids will be applied is near a steep hillside that overlooks Chum Lake and nearby Chum Creek, important habitats which connect with the Shuswap Watershed.

“Both are fish bearing, and Chum Creek also is a spawning area. Apparently the waste will be dumped to within 100 yards of the lake and creek and the dumping could start as early as this upcoming week,” says Jack Batula, an avid angler in the area in an email to the Observer. “The BC government has given their okay to the project and will not intervene. So the residents are looking for help from the public, fish and wildlife groups, anyone else that can help them.”

READ MORE: Letter writer breaks down biosolids and the contaminants within

For the residents opposed to the plan, protecting the watershed and food chain are among their biggest concerns.

“The reason we live here is it’s a pristine valley. The painted turtle is on the endangered species list, we have rivers and creeks that eventually flow into Shuswap Lake,” said Connie Seaward, spokesperson for the community group opposing the biosolids plan. “And now we have these chemicals, which they say are only present in small amounts, but they are being applied to farmland that is intended for a food chain.”

Some in the community are now pushing for tests to be done and presented to the community on the biosolids mixture that will be applied in Turtle Valley, so it can be made public exactly what will be going into the ground. The two main obstacles standing in their way are the cost of the testing and limited timeframe to have them done.

READ MORE: Impact, effectiveness of biosolids examined during community meeting

“We do have just over 700$ so far that was going to be for signage, but if everyone agrees we can use it towards testing and fundraising again for signs,” Seaward says in an email to the Observer. “Our only concern at this point is timeframe, the test results would be great to have back and distributed to everyone before the trucks plan on trying to haul… Testing will take 7 to 10 business days.”


@Jodi_Brak117
jodi.brak@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: PeeWee Silverbacks finish season with 22 game win streak

The team has gone undefeated since November last year

Word on the street: What is your favourite pie-related memory?

With the 24th-annual Best of the Shuswap Pie Baking Contest taking place… Continue reading

Fiery collision involving truck closes Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap

Drivers should expect major delays and congestion; estimated time of re-opening is 2 p.m.

Spectators asked to be on best behaviour at Shuswap school sporting events

Policy asks that spectators make positive comments remain silent

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Kelowna Firefighters douse suspicious hedge fire

A 30’ section of cedar hedge burned prompting an RCMP investigation.

Kelowna RCMP make arrest in fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Elijah Beauregard

An 18-year-old woman is in police custody facing a manslughter charge.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Most Read