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‘Disgusting’ stink wafting over city coming from lagoons, not from pulp mill, says Domtar

UPDATE: City transferring sewage from old lagoon system to new treatment system; investigating complaints from residents of smell

Utilities Services Manager Michael Firlotte says this evening (Saturday) that the City has received reports of odours from the wastewater treatment plant in the last few days, but only in the morning hours.

Says Firlotte: “The new plant is currently being commissioned and part of the commissioning is to slowly transfer the partially treated sewage from our old lagoon system into our newly built treatment system.

“Although this may cause some odours, the process is continuous, not just in the a.m., and will be performed over the next few weeks. Staff will continue to investigate the cause of the reported sewage issue.”

EARLIER NEWS UPDATE — The City has been doing some work on its wastewater system but nothing that should have created a stink as bad as residents have been reporting today, say City staff.

Coun. Donovan Cavers tells The Armchair Mayor News he has checked into the complaints with staff. He is obtaining a detailed explanation of the work being carried out and we will pass it along.

He said staff tell him nothing unusual was dumped into the system.

NEWS — There was a really bad smell coming from the direction of the pulp mill and the sewage lagoons today, and Domtar says the latter is the source.

Not us, says Domtar.

Not us, says Domtar.

No one was answering the phone at the City’s wastewater department this afternoon but a Domtar spokesman said his understanding from the City is that it had to do some concentrated dumping instead of a continuous release as part of some work on the system.

The dumping apparently occurred Thursday and Friday evening and possibly again today.

He said when he arrived at work at the mill this morning he was curious about what was causing the smell, just like everyone else. “Where in the world is this stink coming from?” he wondered.

By the number of calls, it appears another release may have occurred about 3:45 p.m.

The mill has received calls from several parts of town, including McArthur Island where there’s a big tournament this weekend, Brocklehurst and Sahali. He said today’s winds are probably carrying the stench to areas that normally wouldn’t have noticed it.

Brocklehurst resident Tricia Evans told The Armchair Mayor News the smell was so strong it woke her up about 1 this morning. “Stepping outside for not more than three minutes, my throat was burning,” she said.

“Talk about unhealthy. There is absolutely no excuse.”

Gisela Ruckert said today lower Sahali “smells disgusting right now.” She, too, called Domtar and received a similar answer.

Coun. Donovan Cavers hadn’t received any calls asking about the smell but said he’ll look into it with City staff.

About Mel Rothenburger (8047 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

5 Comments on ‘Disgusting’ stink wafting over city coming from lagoons, not from pulp mill, says Domtar

  1. OK, that horrible smell has been here off and on for several days now, and it’s back in force. I’m shutting the windows What’s going on???

  2. Perhaps Maple Reinders could shed some light on this? This smell has been around for the last month. I drive out past Afton and can smell the wind gusts. The smell of sewage is much different from the pulp mill. I smell the wind drifts and smell the sewage smell in Sahali when the wind changes. It hasn’t always been like this.

  3. It’s usually pretty easy to tell the difference between the two. And it is usually Domtar that is at fault.

  4. Exmill worker // May 17, 2014 at 6:46 PM // Reply

    It was the pulpmill, you could see the blue haze over the mill today.
    Obviously the NCG (Non Condensible Gas) Burner was not doing it’s job. The mill systems were in an “upset condition” and the no one was reacting……. or, they were busy dealing with other issues related to mill production.
    C’mon Domtar admit it was your mistake, don’t try and deflect to the City Lagoons.

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