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Tomatoes sprout in sewage

Sechelt Water Resource Centre
These tomato plants found growing in the Sechelt Water Resource Centre were removed from the sewage treatment plant on Jan. 18 and taken to the Sechelt landfill to be disposed of, according to the District of Sechelt.

Tomatoes are growing in effluent at the Sechelt Water Resource Centre. The contaminated fruits are being disposed of safely, according to the District of Sechelt.

The tomatoes haven’t been planted on the site, but instead have come in with the sewage, said Sechelt’s communications manager Connie Jordison.

“Tomato seeds can pass through the human digestive system in a state where they can still germinate. When this happens, the seeds are introduced into the Water Resource Centre (WRC) with the incoming effluent,” Jordison said.

“The seeds attach to the growing medium in the WRC, establish themselves and thrive along with the other plants. The roots of the tomatoes and other plants are part of the filtration system used to treat the effluent.”

Jordison said staff “regularly” prune the tomato plants and remove the trimmings from the WRC.

“As the plants in the WRC greenhouse are exposed to untreated effluent, they are considered contaminated. Trimmings are disposed of in a safe manner,” Jordison said.