The Dirty Truth About Biosolids


1.  Sewer-sludge is a complex mix of human and industrial waste. Sludge generated in large urban centres contain thousands of chemicals, many of which are toxic, persistent, and can be absorbed by plants. 


2. Sewage treatment plants were designed to clean water - not make fertilizer. The removed pollutants are concentrated in the resulting sludges. Spreading sludge on land is not recycling; instead it transfers these man-made chemicals and pollutants from urban industrialized centres to relatively pristine rural soils.


3. Major food processing companies, such as Heinz, Campbells, DelMonte, and Whole Foods, do not accept produce that is grown on land treated with biosolids. They consider it potentially toxic.


4. The process is self-regulated by the sludge industry, with little to no monitoring by the government. No one claims that this process is without risk, and it is unsuspecting rural people who are expected to take the risk, while private companies profit by their suffering. 


5. Many countries in Europe severely limit, or outright ban the use of biosolids on agricultural land - they have found the practice too risky to human health.


6. Many environmental groups such as The Suzuki Foundation, The Sierra Club, oppose the land application of biosolids because current policies do not protect human health, agricultural productivity, or the environment.


7. Sewer Sludge has been dumped in the Nicola Valley for well over a decade without any consultation with The First Nations or with any citizen's groups. 


8. Present regulations allow for the sludge industry to set up mounds of steaming fecal matter directly beside residents' houses, near wells, streams and aquifers. 


9. This is a low-cost option for waste removal from big cities. BC's rural environment is being used as a dumping ground. We should be using world-class options and not endangering our pristine lands.


10. Sewer sludge is often bagged up and sold to unsuspecting Canadian gardeners as "compost" - our government does not even make them label the packages as containing these potentially dangerous biosolids.