The City of Vernon has been slapped with an unexpected $100-thousand bill in order to upgrade the regional biosolids compost facility.
The City of Kelowna will have to pay double that amount.
“It’s a huge hit and it’s necessary in order to remain in compliance with the operating license,” said Nick Nilsen, City of Vernon spokesperson. “Regulations can change over time and this is an example of where communities are required to keep pace with the change and, unfortunately, that comes with a steep cost.”
Nilsen says the upgrade was expected to cost $500-thousand but the bill has grown to $800-thousand because the province wants safeguards put into place to stop possible leaching of waste into the groundwater.
“The ministry is concerned that the channel and the pond do not have an engineered lining to ensure the leachate does not enter into the groundwater and they’re requiring an upgrade to our containment system.”
Nilsen said the lining was the “lowest cost solution.”
The work will be funded from the city’s sewer operating reserves.
The facility manufactures the compost Ogogrow.
(City of Kelowna photo)