Posted on October 30, 2023
Residents in the vicinity of Osoyoos’ wastewater treatment lagoons may experience “elevated” odours as the failed Cell #2 along with Cell #3 are dredged to remove sludge, the town has warned.
Essential work is being carried out on our wastewater lagoon as part of the on-going rehabilitation project,” according to Jared Brounstein, Director of Operational Services.
“As the sediment gets agitated from our scheduled dredging operations, odours from the lagoons may be elevated. We understand the importance of maintaining a pleasant environment for our community and are committed to mitigating the effects as much as possible,” the town said.
In response to queries from the Times Chronicle Brounstein said the process will take approximately three to four weeks once the crew is mobilized.
The work on the troubled Cell #2 treatment lagoon which failed earlier this spring, was identified as part of the remediation efforts to get the cell back in full operation which would mean a reduction in the odour.
Approvals from the Ministry of Environment were required before planning could take place around taking the cell offline, draining and cleaning it.
Brounstein said the cell cleaning is one part of an ongoing effort to keep the waste treatment facility operating optimally.
“We have engaged a dredging company to address the sludge build up in Cells 2 and 3. This processes allows the cells to remain online during the process (no need to drain the cells),” he said.
“Council approved money for next year to undertake an assessment of the treatment lagoons, so once that is done we will come up with a better game plan to reduce odour being generated by the lagoon.”
When asked if this would completely remedy the foul odours generated by the treatment lagoons, Brounstein said no. “We will never get rid of the odours coming from the lagoons. We are anticipating we may see a reduction in the spring but we’re not 100 per cent sure.
The assessment will be done over the course of 2024 with Brounstein saying, “probably only in 2025 we’ll have a definitive game plan moving forward.”
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this temporary disruption. We sincerely apologize for any unpleasant odours you may experience in the coming weeks. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
The dredging work is being carried out by Lambourne Environmental Ltd.
The town is advising to contact the Operational Services Department over any questions or concerns.