BC Biosolids Inventory and Strategies

British Columbia Ministry of Environment

The British Columbia (BC) Ministry of Environment (MoE) retained the services of SYLVIS to undertake a provincial scan of municipal wastewater treatment facilities to create a comprehensive inventory of biosolids in BC.  SYLVIS developed a comprehensive survey to determine wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) process type, quality of biosolids produced and end use of biosolids.  Thirty-two WWTPs participated in the survey, capturing the majority of the managed wastewater solids produced in the province.  This provided the MoE with a snapshot of biosolids production in BC, coupled with a preliminary understanding of how biosolids production has changed historically, and how it is anticipated to change over time.

In addition, SYLVIS conducted two scans: protocols for consultation and engagement practices and alternative management methods in other jurisdictions. The jurisdictional scan of protocols for consultation and engagement practices included telephone interviews with jurisdictional representatives from across Canada and the Pacific Northwest.  The scan provided the MoE with an understanding of relevant, regulations and guidance relating to information sharing, engagement and consultative interactions with First Nations, neighbours, adjacent communities, and lease/tenure holders.

The second jurisdictional scan provided a preliminary review of alternative management methods that are practiced globally including incineration, gasification, pyrolysis, carbonization, thermal hydrolysis and vitrification.  Each of the technologies were assessed based on their state of readiness for implementation, their economic viability, and for their potential implementation in BC based on both the information provided and case studies of similar systems.

Relying on its vast network of industry partners and extensive history in the industry, SYLVIS was able to provide the MoE with a greater understanding of the current state of biosolids management both regionally and globally as well as provide examples of consultative tools which can be used to develop a framework for Best Management Practices.