Lamont County Demonstration Site

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City of Edmonton and EPCOR Water Services Incorporated

The City of Edmonton (City) is seeking to manage the accumulated biosolids in its storage lagoons with a program that beneficially uses the total annual production.  In order to achieve this goal, the City engaged SYLVIS to identify, develop and implement new biosolids management options.  Prioritized for operational-scale demonstrations were mine reclamation, biomass production and marginal agricultural land improvement.  The Lamont site formed one component of the marginal agricultural land improvement demonstrations intended to assess changes in soil fertility and site productivity.

Monitoring on the Lamont site was scheduled for completion in the two years following applications; however, due to the landowners stated preference SYLVIS did not return to the site until a change in land management in 2012, at which point an evaluation of productivity changes was not feasible. The challenge on the Lamont site with the landowner crystallized the importance of having strong stakeholder understanding of the operational limitations and challenges in biosolids applications, particularly when applications and farming activities coincide.  The environmental monitoring that was conducted on the Lamont site for soil fertility and trace element parameters indicated that biosolids management is an acceptable, beneficial and environmentally protective practice for marginal land improvement.

Although monitoring on this site achieved the environmental protection requirements, the productivity assessment fell short due to site access.  The project was a reminder of the importance of proactive, ongoing and transparent communication with biosolids stakeholders.  SYLVIS made a difficult decision by discontinuing site monitoring and inspections, demonstrating our ability to recognize and adapt to changing project scenarios and stakeholder issues.