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.
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.