Residents in Marysville have been noticing springtime odours coming from the Pollution Control Centre (PCC). The PCC is located below Marysville, next to the confluence of Mark Creek and the St. Mary River, and warmer temperatures have added to the increase in smells from the facility in recent weeks.
The city explained in a press release that bio-solids removal must be done in the spring and summer months. The process can be annoying to residents but is essential to ensuring space for annual bio-solids. Currently, the PCC uses two drying beds to empty a larger sludge holding basin. There are two sludge holding basins which hold sludge for three to five years. This spring and summer, the second sludge holding basin is being emptied. In addition to the use of the two drying beds, a sludge holding basin may also be used as a large drying bed. This substantially increases the surface area along with increased agitation for drying purposes, subsequently creating increased odours.
Once dried to between 4 to 20 per cent solids content, the bio-solids are then removed from the site and trucked to the Central Landfill. This step can also create increased odours.
Other factors contributing to odours are the increase in various chemicals and other materials being flushed or drained into the wastewater treatment infrastructure. These chemicals are reducing the PCCs ability to break down bio-solids efficiently. The public is asked to ensure they are disposing of these materials properly and not flushing them down the toilet or releasing them down their drains.
Residents in Marysville can expect weather and wind dependent odours to persist through the spring and summer. The City of Kimberley is currently exploring options for alternate wastewater treatment. Details will be released in the coming months regarding those options.