Special Revelstoke council meeting on Tuesday to review proposed new sewage lagoon smell fix

The City of Revelstoke has called a special meeting for noon Tuesday to review a city plan to install new aeration equipment at the sewage treatment lagoons to deal with the Southside sewage smell issue. If approved, installation could start in five weeks, but the report notes a risk that it won't satisfactorily improve the smell issue.

The headworks building at the Revelstoke Sewage Treatment Plant. photo: file

It looks like the City of Revelstoke could move forward with plans to install aeration equipment at the sewer treatment plant this summer. The city has called a special city council meeting for Tuesday, May 29 at 12 p.m. specifically to address improvements needed to mitigate the smell that has been plaguing nearby residents for years.

City staff are recommending the city enter into a contract with Triplepoint Water Technologies to install aeration equipment for the first pond at the treatment plant at an approximate cost of $210,000. Staff are also recommending an amendment to the 2018–2022 financial plan to reflect an increase in project cost. Previously, the city had budgeted $200,000 for the improvements this year. However, if approved on May 29, that amendment would see the total project budget increase from $200,000 to $240,000.

The City of Revelstoke sewage lagoon in the industrial park area in Southside. Photo: file

“The Southside neighbourhood is once again experiencing an increase in objectionable odours from the sewer treatment plant,” writes Revelstoke Director of Engineering Mike Thomas in a report to council. “The city has attempted several minor upgrades to the operations of the plant over the past few years, however, based on professional industry advice, the aeration system, which is critical to the performance of the plant, is still not working efficiently or effectively.”

Last week the Mountaineer posted a story about Mayor Mark McKee’s apology to the community over the recent increase in smell coming from the sewage lagoon. However, many residents felt it was no more than lip service and wanted to see action take place.

The report notes contractor Triplepoint could be on site to install the new system within five weeks. Details on how the old equipment is to be removed and new equipment installed still need to be confirmed, however the city hopes the pond can remain in use during the upgrade.

Under a list of ‘risks’ to the proposal, the report notes a risk that the proposed new system will not improve the smell issue: “The technology may not improve the odour, (or may not improve it as much as expected).”

The report briefly mentions plans for a long-term fix to the ongoing sewage treatment odour issue, noting the city will be seeking a contractor to begin updating the city’s Liquid Waste Management Plan this summer.

In the report, Thomas writes: “Long-term, staff are still working on the Sewer Treatment Plant Upgrade review and considering how to move forward with the Liquid Waste Management Plan process and manage growth related requirements and upgrades. In 2018 we are working through this using the [development cost charges bylaw] update project and a dedicated larger consulting sewer upgrade project that will be out for [request for proposals] in the next couple of months.”

Revelstoke City Council will consider the recommendations from staff at the special council meeting at noon on Tuesday, May 29 at noon, at Revelstoke City Council Chambers at 103 Second Street East. The meeting is open to the public. The Mountaineer will follow up with this story after Tuesday’s meeting.

Melissa Jameson is the civic affairs reporter for the Revelstoke Mountaineer. She handles the newsy side of goings on about Revelstoke. Got a news tip? Feel free to contact Melissa at melissa@revelstokemountaineer.com