Dalhousie University Biosolids Research Symposium

The team of biosolids researchers led by Dr. Gordon Price of Dalhousie Univ. in Truro, NS.

Dalhousie University held a research symposium on June 11, 2015 at which a team of researchers from around eastern Canada - led by Gordon Price - presented their findings regarding multi-year field and laboratory trials of alkaline-stabilized biosolids (ASB) applied to soils.  The focus of this work is the fate and potential impacts of trace chemicals that are applied to soils in biosolids (see prior NEBRA coverage).  Preliminary findings include:

  • "overall positive responses to increased application rates of ASB on soil community"
  • "no significant change in trace metal concentrations [in the soil] over time"
  • determination of the adsorption affinity and desorption rates for several pharmaceuticals in the biosolids/soil matrix
  • identification of seasonal variations in concentrations of emerging substances of concern (trace chemicals) in field soils to which biosolids have been applied
  • phalates were identified in biosolids, soil, and water - and also in plant biomass at very low concentrations
  • research includes lab studies of metabolomic effects of various concentrations of triclosan on earthworms.  High concentrations of triclosan, a chemical intentionally used widely for its antimicrobial attributes, resulted in significant changes to earthworm amino acids, and, in high enough concentrations, led to mortality.

This major research has been funded, most recently, by the Canadian Water Network.  Additional partners and ongoing support are needed.  Contact the NEBRA office for details / referral to Dr. Price.