The Thompson-Nicola Regional District’s Environmental Health Services Department recently announced that it would close the Barriere septage pits, effective May 1.
“The septage pits at the Clearwater landfill also will be closed, but no definite date has been set at this point,” said Don May, manager of Environmental Health Services.
May said the TNRD staff would meet with those from districts of Clearwater and Barriere at the end of last week to discuss septage disposal options for the North Thompson Valley.
The pits are used to dispose of sludge pumped from septic tanks. This is an important issue in the Valley because only a small percentage of homes are on a sewer system.
The septage pits in both Clearwater and Barriere are being shut down as part of landfill closures that will help pave the way for new eco-depots in the two municipalities.
Once the pits at the Barriere landfill close, septage haulers from there will have to use septage-receiving facilities in Kamloops.
The septage pits in Barriere need to be closed for a few reasons, May explained. Landfill attendants administer the septage pits. They will no longer be present when the landfill closes. The septage pits are located on soil resources that are needed for landfill closure. Septage pits are not sustainable in the long terms as they provide no treatment of effluent and do not meet current environmental standards. Being located above the landfill is another concern because effluent percolating into the ground may create or add to leachate generated by the landfill.
The Barriere landfill is expected to be closed sometime this fall. Work has already started on the Louis Creek Eco-Depot (as well as one in Clearwater at the old Camp Two site). The TNRD hopes to have the eco-depot operational by the end of September. The closure of the Barriere septage pits is of an urgent nature because they need to be dewatered for closure operations. Once the pits are dewatered, the underlying soil will be used for cover material in the closure of the landfill.
An eco-depot is a regional solid waste re-load centre that accommodates recycling and disposal needs. Built to handle larger volumes plus provide more services than transfer stations. Eco-depots provide a drop-off site for a wider range of recyclable materials such as waste paint, used motor oil, wood, yard waste, metals and household recyclables.