What is happening at the sewer treatment plant?
For the last week we have been preparing for a major maintenance shutdown taking place this week. The waste water treatment plant’s main components are the two large aeration basins used to “digest” the waste water entering the plant. The major maintenance work we are doing consists in replacing the 650 diffuser nozzles located at the bottom of one of the two aeration basins. This work is meant to improve the plant’s reliability. The diffuser replacements are typically scheduled to take place every 5 years, but this is the first time the work is being performed since the plant’s upgrade in 2006.
Why the smell? In our effort to complete the aeration basin maintenance work in a timely manner, we under-estimated the odourous effect that the transfer of “sludge” from one basin to the other would cause.
How long will this last? We expect the odour issue will continue for a couple more days as the aeration process works its course in the functioning aeration basin.
Why does it smell mostly in the evening? During the day, the prevailing breeze is from the ocean towards the land (wind goes up the mountain) while the evening breeze is from the shore to the ocean, causing odours from the plant to move down towards the ocean.
How often is this going to happen in the future? We plan on doing similar major maintenance work on the second aeration basin next year. However, you can expect a much less intrusive experience at that time since we have now learned several key points that will be put into practice.
We understand your frustration, and appreciate the major inconvenience this may cause to all who are affected.
We will be updating our web and Facebook pages daily over the next several days to keep all informed of the changes taking place at the plant.
In today’s modern society we have numerous uses for water, both around the home as well as in commercial or industrial operations. This water becomes wastewater once it has been “used” whether for washing dishes in a restaurant, flushing a toilet, or as part of a manufacturing process.
The Town of Gibsons operates and maintains the network of trunk sewers, pumping lift stations and a wastewater treatment plant that connects the Town’s sewer systems.
Liquid waste management has an effect on our environment and the livability of our community. If we don’t take care to handle and treat the many pollutants generated by human activities, the quality of our surrounding environment will suffer.
With the commissioning of the new Wastewater Treatment Plant in 2005, the Town is always striving to upgrade and optimize the workings of the plant to ensure the best possible effluent discharge that exceeds permit requirements and minimizes odour.