Biosolids Stockpiling Monitoring and Demonstration of Best Management Practices

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City of Edmonton with Partners at EPCOR and the Edmonton Waste Management Centre of Excellence

Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) regulate biosolids management in the province of Alberta through the Guidelines for the Application of Municipal Wastewater Sludges to Agricultural Land (Guidelines).  The Guidelines have facilitated the environmentally beneficial use of biosolids in the City of Edmonton’s (City) liquid biosolids to agricultural land program and composting of dewatered biosolids in combination with municipal solid waste and wood chips.  The City requires greater diversity, flexibility and capacity in its biosolids use programs to address an annual accumulation of biosolids in the Clover Bar lagoons.  The City engaged SYLVIS to assess and demonstrate new land application options for dewatered biosolids in the region.  In addition to three new land application ‘baskets’, SYLVIS proposed to expand the scope of biosolids logistics to include stockpiling on-site prior to application; a logistical component of biosolids management not currently available in Alberta.

Temporary stockpiling of dewatered biosolids prior to application is key in developing successful land application alternatives and formed the basis for this stockpiling study and the simultaneous development of the draft best management practices document.  In implementing this demonstration, SYLVIS aimed to demonstrate to ESRD that temporary stockpiling of dewatered biosolids on an application site is protective of the environment and has no adverse environmental effects.  The demonstration monitored the movement of macronutrients through the soil profile as a trigger for initiating further trace element and nutrient monitoring in soil and water at the site.

The results of the biosolids stockpiling demonstration show that the best management practices established by SYLVIS for the stockpiling of dewatered biosolids were protective of environmental quality.  This result provides the City with the capacity to further develop new land application options, achieving their goals and expanding biosolids beneficial use in the region.