The Town of Osoyoos staff will present their preliminary findings about what may be causing the stench from the sewage treatment facility. (Black Press file photo)

The Town of Osoyoos staff will present their preliminary findings about what may be causing the stench from the sewage treatment facility. (Black Press file photo)

Osoyoos may have found where the ‘unbearable smell’ is coming from at the sewage plant

Hydrogen sulphide gas may be causing the ‘rotten egg’ smell during the summer months

The Town of Osoyoos thinks it may have figured out what is causing the foul smell coming from the sewer treatment plant.

Staff have been looking into potential causes of the stench within the collection system that could be contributing to the odours generated at the treatment facility.

The odour most likely is hydrogen sulphide gas (H2S) generation within the collection system. H2S creates a “rotten egg” odour and is associated with septic wastewater, said a report that will be brought to the Town of Osoyoos committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 23.

“We completed some preliminary gas detection logging at a couple of pump stations and have found elevated concentrations of H2S at the northwest sector sewer project as well as the main wastewater pump station at Legion Beach,” said Jared Brounstein, Osoyoos director of operational services. “We are now going to look at the system as a whole and will place gas detection loggers in some other key locations over the summer months to further understand where H2S is being generated and how we can address that generation in the long term.”

“The odour concerns at the wastewater treatment lagoons are not an overnight fix and will take time and analysis to make sure we get the right solution to address what is generating those odours within the wastewater collection system,” said Brounstein.

The odour becomes noticeably worse during periods of hot weather and when the town experiences its seasonal peak visitation in the summer months. The town’s sewage system receives inflows in the summer that is far greater than the amount usually received in other months.

In August 2020, the Town of Osoyoos apologized to the community for the foul odour.

Residents submitted a petition to the town council in September 2019. Residents in Osoyoos are fed up with the “unbearable” smell, they said at the time.

To fix the odour problem, the town has budgeted $5 million for system improvements in its financial plan.

To date, the operations department in collaboration with the town’s engineering consultant has completed a preliminary operations assessment and they are working together to finalize that assessment.

This will lay the groundwork for the creation of a Wastewater Treatment Master Plan. The Master Plan will then identify key upgrades to address both odour and treatment through capital improvements spanning the next 20 years.

READ MORE: Town of Osoyoos apoligizes for odour

READ MORE: Osoyoos residents fed up with unbearable smell

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