Biosolids Application

Forest Fertilization

Since 2003, RDN biosolids have been used in a Forest Fertilization Program to improve tree growth and divert them from the Regional Landfill. This program demonstrates modern practices in forest ecology and stand management.

Biosolids production, storage and application are done according to a Land Application Plan (LAP) , that meets all requirements set out in the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation and is subject to audit by the Ministry of Environment.

RDN Biosolids are applied to private forest lands owned by TimberWest (formerly leased to Vancouver Island University). The application area is approximately 12 km northwest of Nanaimo, about 1 km west of the Biggs/Doumont Road intersection, just off Weigles Road. Click on the images to the right for detailed maps of the application area.

Coordination with Recreation

The Mount Benson foothills are a popular area for outdoor recreation, particularly mountain biking. In June 2017, the RDN signed an agreement with the Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club to coordinate land use so that key mountain bike trails can exist free of biosolids and other areas will be reserved for biosolids application.

Health and the Environment

The production, distribution, storage, sale and use, or land application of biosolids is strictly regulated by the Ministry of Environment's Organic Matter Recycling Regulation.

Biosolids samples are collected directly from the wastewater treatment plants to ensure biosolids quality results are accurate and to verify OMRR compliance.
Photo credit: SYLVIS Environmental

To protect public health and the environment, we:

  • The wastewater treatment process mimics the natural breakdown of solid wastes seen in the environment. When micro-organisms "digest" the solid material, they reduce the volatile organics and pathogen concentrations.
  • Only sites without steep slopes are chosen for application
  • Regularly test our biosolids to ensure they meet Ministry criteria for land application
  • Restrict public access to the application areas
  • Establish buffer zones from potable water sources, water bodies, roads and highways
  • Post signs on roads and paths advising the public that biosolids are being applied
  • Monitor groundwater.
In 2003 and 2012, studies were done which concluded that past and proposed future application of biosolids within the Application Area will not impact groundwater quality in any of the wells located in the region.

Wastewater Services | 6300 Hammond Bay Road | Nanaimo, BC V9T 6N2 | E-mail: rcu@rdn.bc.ca
Telephone: 250-390-6560 (Nanaimo) 250-954-3792 (Oceanside) 1-877-607-4111 (Toll Free)
1-800-862-3429 (Emergency) | 250-390-1542 (Fax)