City of Winnipeg starts development of a Biosolids Land Application Program

Released: April 4, 2017 at 1:15 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB - The City of Winnipeg is developing a Biosolids Land Application program and is ready to engage with regional, municipal and local stakeholders. The Biosolids Land Application program is being developed in response to changes in provincial legislation that now requires wastewater biosolids to be beneficially reused.

Biosolids are a nutrient-rich, solid by-product of wastewater treatment. Applying biosolids to farmland brings much needed nutrients to the soil and provides an opportunity to reuse biosolids instead of disposing them in the landfill. Biosolids land application is a safe, sustainable, provincially regulated strategy for biosolids management widely used in Canada and all over the world.

The public engagement for this program seeks involvement from regional, municipal and rural stakeholders and community members. Public engagement will help the City gather information on preferred application locations in rural Manitoba and program options such as timing of application and biosolids storage. Public open houses are being planned for summer 2017.

For more information, please visit City of Winnipeg - Biosolids Land Application.

Project background

The Manitoba Government regulates how the City of Winnipeg handles wastewater biosolids through the Water Protection Act. The legislation states that the biosolids must be beneficially reused and nutrients must be recovered and recycled to the maximum extent possible.

In 2014, the City completed a public engagement program on biosolids management and developed a 30-year Biosolids Master Plan. The Master Plan recommends that the City develop multiple beneficial reuse strategies for a flexible and adaptable biosolids program. One of the key reuse strategies is application of biosolids to farmland.

The first phase of the land application program started in January 2017. Phase one includes engaging the public and rural stakeholders in the program development and applying for an Environment Act Licence from the Province. Phase two is scheduled to begin in fall 2017 and includes a pilot project, which will have 5,000 wet tonnes (WT) of biosolids applied to farmland. Phase three includes a plan for a 20,000 WT per year, three-year biosolids land application program starting in 2018.

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