Bio-solids from the Ladysmith Waste Water Treatment facility will continue to be composted at the public works yard on Sixth Avenue and Roberts Street, but going ahead with an upgrade at the site doesn’t rule out moving the process somewhere else in the future.
Ladysmith council approved a series of motions that will expedite construction of a covered structure to reduce the odors that occur during composting. About 1,000 cubic meters of bio-solids, extracted from effluent at the town’s waste water plant at the south end of Oyster Cove Road, are trucked to the public works yard for composting each year.
“Despite the town’s best efforts, the fresh bio-solids can occasionally give off objectionable odors during the first few days of processing,” reported John Manson, director of Infrastructure Services.
“The only way to effectively deal with this issue is to process the material within a covered building, which is equipped with an odor control system.”
He said the bio-solids being composted in the covered facility will have ‘sufficiently stabilized’ after seven days to be moved outdoors ‘without odor issues.’
Ladysmith has been awarded a $570,000 federal Gas Tax grant for ‘regionally significant projects’ to build the covered structure at the public works yard, and the town has allocated another $300,000 for the project, “but the deadline for expenditures is Dec. 31, 2016,” Manson said.
To meet that timeline council agreed to waive its normal purchasing procedure and accept a ‘sole source’ proposal for the project from Transform Compost Systems, an Abbotsford company.
Although council approved the recommendation to continue composting bio-solids at Ladysmith’s public works yard, concern remains that it is not a well-suited location.
“I really don’t think the public works yard is where we should be composting, I think we should move it to Peerless Road,” said Coun. Joe Friesenhan. “You can get rid of 90 per cent of the smell, but you’re always going to have a smell.”
Compounding the problem is Ladysmith’s scheduled switch to secondary sewage treatment, expected to kick in later this year. That will double the amount of bio-solids generated at the waste water treatment facility.
An upgraded facility at the public works yard would be “able to process the future volume of bio-solids expected with the secondary treatment plant upgrade,” Manson said.
“The completion of this upgrade in 2016 will, as a minimum, allow the town the option to continue to process bio-solids at the public works yard, even if portions of the bio-solids are also sent to other locations for processing.”