Beneficial Use of Biosolids in Marginal Land Conversion and Plantation Establishment

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City of Calgary

The City of Calgary was seeking opportunities to beneficially manage dewatered biosolids from the Shepard Lagoons.  The City’s intent was to select opportunities which augmented and added diversity to their already successful Calgro Program which uses liquid biosolids to fertilize agricultural land.  

SYLVIS proposed two opportunities which facilitated the use of large volumes of biosolids; provided program contingency, flexibility and diversity; and, resulted in the development of a new market for beneficial biosolids use according to the principles of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment’s (CCME) Canada-wide Approach for the Beneficial Use of Biosolids.   The two opportunities were marginal land fertilization and the establishment of a willow plantation where the resulting biomass would provide feedstock for the City’s composting program.

As both opportunities are outside the purview of the Alberta Sludge Guidelines, SYLVIS worked with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) to obtain the necessary authorizations.

In the first year of the beneficial use program 45,000 bulk tonnes (8,751 dt) of the City’s biosolids were land applied.  To facilitate project success, SYLVIS conducted an intensive stakeholder engagement program with door-to-door introductions, information letters, voluntary well monitoring, follow up consultation and proactive community engagement.

SYLVIS worked closely with the City, the dewatering contractors, the transportation provider and the landowners exceeding the expectations of the City and project partners and laying the groundwork for future success.