Biosolids Management

Biosolids Management

Award Winning Programs

For the second time, the RDN has won the Northwest Biosolids 'Excellence in Biosolids' Award. The award recognizes significant contributions to the development and implementation of cost-effective and environmentally beneficial biosolids management practices. This award was won in 2013 and again in 2019.

RDN Programs and Partners

RDN biosolids are beneficially managed in a Forest Fertilization Program and at a Biosolids Contingency Site in collaboration with three key partners:

  • Mosaic Forest Management as Timberland Manager for Island Timberlands and TimberWest.
  • Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club
  • Harmac Pacific.

Forest Fertilization Program

Key Partners: Mosaic and Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club

By agreement, the RDN Biosolids Application Area is on private forest lands approximately 12 km northwest of Nanaimo, about 1 km west of the Biggs/Doumont Road intersection, just off Weigles Road. The land is an operational forest owned by TimberWest.

Because the area is a popular destination for outdoor recreation, particularly mountain biking, the RDN also has an agreement with the Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club to coordinate land use to establish mountain biking reserves, biosolids application reserves and areas of integrated use.

The agreements between the parties formalize the RDN's biosolids forest fertilization program and the Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club's recreational activities on private forest land, thereby also improving communication and safety, and maximizing the benefits for all three parties.

RDN biosolids are applied to forest stands with nutrient-poor soils according to a Land Application Plan. Biosolids help the trees achieve their maximum potential as though they were growing in ideal conditions. Trees treated with biosolids also appear healthier; needle buds are longer, greener and more numerous. Fertilization has also demonstrated a significant increase in tree growth. The RDN regularly updates this biosolids application map to inform recreational activities.

Biosolids Contingency Site

Key Partner: Harmac Pacific

Industry best practice recommends a biosolids management program has a contingency site. The RDN biosolids management contingency site is at the Harmac Pacific (Harmac) kraft mill site in Nanaimo. Here, RDN biosolids, Harmac wood waste, and mineral soil are used to fabricate soil for cover material for the Harmac landfill during its landfill closure activities. The contingency site is most often used during adverse weather when roads to the forest fertilization site are inaccessible due to ice and snow. Previous to this partnership, the Regional Landfill was the biosolids contingency site.

See the Research and Studies or Frequently Asked Questions page for more information on biosolids management in the RDN.