What to do with all that poop? Kamloops approves working group to figure it out

As biosolids build up at the Kamloops sewage plant, the need for a long-term solution is growing. So, the city will turn to its newly-approved stakeholder group for ideas on how to manage it.

City of Kamloops wants long-term solutions to biosolids backup

Kamloops is looking for a long-term solution to the overflow of biosolids it produces. (Samantha Garvey/CBC)

The City of Kamloops is dealing with a serious poop problem that city staff have so far not been able to solve. 

Each year, the city produces 12,500 tonnes of biosolids, and as that organic matter builds up at the sewage plant, the need for a long-term solution is growing.

This week, Kamloops city council approved staff's suggestion for a stakeholders group — comprised of key players in the community — to come up with a variety of ways Kamloops can deal with its waste.

"It's a struggle for everybody," said Jen Fretz, the city's director of civic operations.

"The harsh reality is we're not going to stop producing [biosolids]. This is not just a Kamloops issue, this is worldwide issue."

The city's sewage treatment centre opened in March 2015, and it filled up fast. A consulting firm now manages Kamloops' biosolids, but it's a short-term solution, Fretz told CBC's Shelley Joyce.

A stakeholders group was suggested in 2016, when concerns mounted over where to put the overflow of waste.

"The idea of the group is to provide direction to [city] staff with respect to what those long-term solutions are, and then council would ultimately make the decision on what that looks like," Fretz said.

Invitations are being sent to groups throughout the region, including Interior Health, the local First Nation, the provincial government and the Thompson Nicola Regional District.

Fretz said the goal is to look at the issue from a scientific perspective and come up a variety of ways the city can tackle the issue.

With files from Daybreak Kamloops