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Testing set for radioactive biowaste

Radiation experts from Toronto are being brought in to help determine the source of low-level radiation that caused a couple of loads of solid biowaste from a city sewage treatment plant to be turned away from the U.S. border last Thursday.

Radiation experts from Toronto are being brought in to help determine the source of low-level radiation that caused a couple of loads of solid biowaste from a city sewage treatment plant to be turned away from the U.S. border last Thursday.

After disposal contractor Third High Farms informed the city of the incident yesterday morning, a haz-mat team scoured the R.O. Pickard Environmental Centre for a source of the radiation, but was unable to detect any radioactivity above background levels.

However, two more loads similarly tested positive yesterday.

Dixon Weir, the city’s director of water and wastewater services, said consultants with more sensitive equipment would inspect the plant today to pinpoint the source of the radiation.

“If we do detect any radioactive material, part of the investigation needs to be identifying likely sources,” he said.

The radioactive biosolids are the residue from sewage treatment that is not discharged back into the Ottawa River.

Weir said the city reviewed the results for drinking-water tests, which showed nothing abnormal or elevated.

“The drinking water continues to be closely monitored and is safe for use and consumption,” he said.

 
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