The Comox Valley Regional District has awarded a contract to Knappett Industries to construct an equalization basin (EQ) at the Water Pollution Control Centre. The contract is worth $1,878,062, though the CVRD estimates the final cost of building the basin will be about $3.5 million.
Excavated materials will be used to block two gullies between sand dunes on the property’s edge, ‘eliminating a site that has been identified by neighbours as a source of odour,’ the CVRD website states. The basin’s use will largely be limited to winter, and after each use will be cleaned. As such, the district expects little to no odour impacts.
The EQ has been criticized by the Curtis Road Residents Association, which voiced its objection to the project since hearing about it in March.
“This project has been rammed through despite our objections, and at the expense of our quality of life and property values,” said Jenny Steel, a member of the CRRA. “The berms across the gullies will not eliminate the existing stink. Only covering the source of the stink, the bio-reactors, could possibly do that.”
Steel claims that CVRD staff admit they have no engineering/odour modelling to support their claim that this will reduce Curtis Road odours.
“At no point has the CVRD implied or stated that the berms will eliminate odour, but rather that we hope they will reduce the existing concentration of odours focused on the properties downslope from the gullies that will be filled in,” said Kris La Rose, senior manager of water/wastewater services. “We are working towards a recommendation to the sewage commission in September on whether or not to cover the bioreactors.”