Photo by Scott Strasser.

CVRD addresses odour issues at wastewater treatment plant — again

The Comox Valley Regional District is moving ahead with plans to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant, in an attempt to finally put an end to odour complaints from Area B residents who live near the facility.

The CVRD has budgeted spending $2.2 million on upgrades to the Comox Valley Water Pollution Control Centre (WPCC) located on Brent Road. The CVRD’s Sewage Commission approved the upgrades last January.

Read More: Area B resident raising a stink

Pending approval of a new purchasing bylaw by the CVRD board later this month, as well as contractors chosen, the upgrades will take place this spring.

CVRD staff are currently putting out request-for-proposals for contractors to undertake the work before the summer, when odours from the facility are at their worst.

“It’s to get it done as soon as possible because the odours increase through the summer,” said CVRD capital projects manager Charlie Gore.

The upgrades include retrofitting the treatment plant’s existing scrubber (which has already been done), covering the primary clarifiers to contain and treat air through the scrubber before being discharged to the environment, and adding a state-of-the-art activated carbon polisher to further treat air before it is discharged.

The new infrastructure is hoped to be added by May, according to Gore.

“Odour control at the Brent Road facility is a huge issue and one we’ve been committed to fixing by spring of this year,” he said at the Jan. 16 Sewage Commission meeting.

“This will be up there with the best odour control systems that are out there.”

The WPCC is located in Electoral Area B and treats wastewater coming from Courtenay and Comox.

Area B director Rod Nichol said complaints about the facility’s odours have been an issue ever since he was elected, as well as when he was a director in the 1990s. According to old media reports, the facility has received odour complaints from nearby residents ever since it was built in 1984.

Read More: Raising stink gets action about Comox Valley stench

Nichol said he was receiving two or three emails per day from Area B residents about the issue as recently as last month.

“Unfortunately, the odours from the treatment plant act like fog,” he said. “When you get a temperature inversion, the stink just sits down and it flows out into the neighbourhood.

“It’s pretty foul.”

Gore said if the CVRD board does not approve its new purchasing bylaw later this month, that staff will bring a recommendation for a contract award to the Sewage Commission at its February meeting.

“We really want to award this contract as soon as possible,” he told the commission on Tuesday.

Read More: CVRD will evaluate stench emanating from water pollution control centre

“What we’re proposing is, assuming the works all fit within the budget and that the purchasing bylaw is approved at the board meeting this month, at its fourth reading, then we can proceed to award these contracts immediately after reviewing the tenders.”

 

The scrubber (right) was retrofitted recently. Photo by Scott Strasser.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Motorcyclist dead following crash on Strathcona Parkway

A 29 year old man has died following a motorcycle crash on… Continue reading

Sarah Rebitt named the Vanier recipient of the Governor General’s Award

Sarah Rebitt was named the recipient of the 2018 Governor General’s Award… Continue reading

Vancouver Island pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Bylaw rescinded after vacation rental owners express concerns

Concerns included a lack of consultation

Get ready for a week of sunshine across Vancouver Island

Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures in the high teens all this week

AFN national chief suggests moving Trans Mountain pipeline route

Perry Bellegarde said many Indigenous communities believe in the need to diversify export markets

Bob Castle’s Under The Glacier cartoon for Sept. 25, 2018

Bob Castle’s Under The Glacier cartoon for Sept. 25, 2018… Continue reading

B.C. making progress on senior care staffing, Adrian Dix says

Minister aims to meet residential care provincial standard by 2021

B.C. realtor receives racist letter touching on ‘empty homes’

The letter has been met with condemnation of the racism after Winnie Wu posted it online

WATCH: Rare close encounter with whale pod

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Pawsitive response by B.C. community for 60-plus surrendered cats

Community comes together to help surrendered cats at Penticton SPCA

Judge weighs Cosby’s sentence after declaring him ‘predator’

Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill made the decision as he weighed the punishment for Cosby

AFN national chief suggests moving Trans Mountain pipeline route

Perry Bellegarde said many Indigenous communities believe in the need to diversify export markets

U.S. worker charged after video shows him spitting on customer’s pizza

Jaylon Kerley of Detroit is charged with a felony count of food law violations

Most Read