City Of Abbotsford  
James Plant

Biosolids Management

JAMES Wastewater Treatment Plant & Biosolids Management Overview

Biosolids are the end product of wastewater treatment. The JAMES Wastewater Treatment Plant (JAMES Plant) currently produces approximately 5,200 wet tonnes of Class “A” biosolids per year and this is expected to double over the next 25 years due to the increased equivalent service population load on the JAMES Plant. The City has a contract with a third party to beneficially reuse the biosolids through land application under the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation (OMRR).

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Biosolids Production and Recycling

View an illustration of the biosolids processing path at the JAMES Wastewater Treatment Plant (JAMES Plant).

In order to recycle the biosolids produced at the JAMES Plant, strict quality requirements must be met under the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation (OMRR). OMRR is a regulation created under the provincial Environmental Management Act and applies to the construction and operation of composting facilities, and the production, distribution, storage, sale and use or land application of biosolids and compost. OMRR also sets minimum standards for products based on criteria such as pathogen reduction, vector attraction reduction, pathogen limits and heavy metals limits. In addition, depending on the class of biosolids produced and the final disposal location, there are other regulated parameters such as limiting the land application rate or limiting the concentration of organic matter in biosolids growing medium.


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Biosolids Quality Data

As part of OMRR requirements, the biosolids produced at the JAMES Wastewater Treatment Plant (JAMES Plant) must be sampled and analyzed at least once every 1,000 dry tonnes of organic matter, or once per year, whichever occurs first. This means that the biosolids produced at the JAMES Plant should be sampled and analyzed approximately two times per year.

To ensure the quality of biosolids produced at the JAMES Plant consistently meet Class “A” quality objectives, the City of Abbotsford has taken the initiative to sample above and beyond the OMRR requirements. The biosolids produced at the JAMES Plant are sampled on a daily basis, with weekly and monthly composite samples being submitted to an external lab for analysis. The extra sampling allows the City of Abbotsford to monitor the quality of the biosolids and to ensure the biosolids produced at the JAMES Plant are consistently of exceptional quality. 

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JAMES Wastewater Treatment Plant

The Joint Abbotsford Mission Environmental Systems Wastewater Treatment Plant (JAMES Plant) is located at 5959 Gladwin Road and is jointly owned and operated by the City of Abbotsford and District of Mission. The JAMES Plant was constructed from 1980 to 1981 (operational November 1981) and has gone through a number of expansions over the years to serve the increased population growth. The service area of JAMES Plant includes the City of Abbotsford, the District of Mission and the City of Sumas, Washington, USA.

JAMES Plant Facts (Based on 2014 operations data)

  • Plant Flow
    • Average Daily Flow – 48,000 m3/d
  • Incoming Raw Wastewater
    • Average cBOD – 250 mg/L
    • Average TSS – 535 mg/L
  • Treated wastewater
    • Average cBOD – 10-15 mg/L
    • Average TSS –10-15 mg/L

JAMES Plant is registered under the MWR (Municipal Wastewater Regulation) administered by the BC Ministry of Environment (MOE) to discharge the treated wastewater into the Fraser River. The registration allows for the treated wastewater to contain up to a maximum of 45 mg/L of BOD and 45 mg/L of TSS. The Federal Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations (WSER) identifies an effluent quality standard (in effect January 1, 2015) for <25 mg/L of BOD (average) and 25 mg/L of TSS (average).

Analysis of plant’s data over a number of years has indicated that the JAMES Plant has consistently performed well and has met and outperformed the targets set by the MOE. The 2014 operating data indicates that the JAMES Plant's treated wastewater is under the discharge limits set by the MWR and meet the Federal effluent quality standards. 

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Biosolids FAQ's

What are biosolids?
Biosolids are an organic product of wastewater treatment.  A beneficial resource, biosolids contain essential organic matter. 

The City has a contract with a third party to beneficially reuse the biosolids through land application under OMRR.

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What are "Class A" biosolids?

“Class A” biosolids are biosolids that meet the criteria outlined under the provincial Organic Matter Recycling Regulations (OMRR).  Under OMRR, “Class A” biosolids must meet strict regulations and quality standards including numerical limits for metals in biosolids, pathogen reduction standards, and sampling and analysis protocols and frequency.  JAMES Wastewater Treatment Plant biosolids are sampled and tested on a regular basis to ensure all quality criteria are met and to ensure a “Class A” rating is maintained. 

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Who do I contact for more information?

City of Abbotsford Operations Yard
Tel: 604-853-5485

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