White­court pre­sented find­ings of 2016 Waste­water Treat­ment Plant Study

The McLeod River Post - - Viewpoint -

Stan­tec has com­pleted White­court’s 2016 Master Busi­ness Plan and Odour Mit­i­ga­tion Re­port, and a pre­sen­ta­tion was made on its find­ings to Town Coun­cil at the Novem­ber 28 Reg­u­lar Meet­ing.

Stan­tec was con­tracted in April 2016 to com­plete a tech­ni­cal re­view that in­cluded:

• A re­view of the plant’s orig­i­nal de­sign in re­la­tion to how it is cur­rently per­form­ing/ op­er­at­ing.

• A re­view of the gen­er­a­tion of sludge and what can be done to min­i­mize it.

• A re­view of how the fa­cil­ity han­dles gravel and other in­ert ma­te­ri­als.

• Rec­om­men­da­tion on changes to the plant that can in­crease ca­pac­ity and ad­dress odour con­cerns.

Through­out the study pe­riod, a num­ber of con­sul­ta­tion ini­tia­tives launched to help not only track odour trends in the east val­ley area, but to also ed­u­cate res­i­dents on the fa­cil­ity. An open house, fa­cil­ity tour and “Odour Track­ing Di­aries” were all part of the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion process, and in­for­ma­tion gained through these ini­tia­tives were con­sid­ered by Stan­tec dur­ing the study.

Dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Stan­tec out­lined the ac­tiv­i­ties and changes made at the fa­cil­ity over the last sev­eral months that have pos­i­tively im­pacted op­er­a­tions. Items in­cluded:

•The dis­con­tin­u­a­tion of sep­tage from out­side the com­mu­nity;

• The ad­di­tion of chem­i­cals and a water cap to mit­i­gate odours from the sludge stor­age cells; and

• Devel­op­ment of a “green belt” sur­round­ing the stor­age cells that will in the long term act as a buf­fer to neigh­bour­ing de­vel­op­ments.

In ad­di­tion, the Town is draft­ing a new util­i­ties by­law that will pro­vide an en­hanced frame­work to man­age op­er­a­tions and will in­clude en­force­ment mea­sures to con­trol what is be­ing pro­cessed at the fa­cil­ity.

“I’m pleased with the work our util­i­ties depart­ment has done through­out this year, specif­i­cally through­out the sum­mer, to help mit­i­gate odours and nui­sances from the fa­cil­ity in the east val­ley area, “noted White­court Mayor Maryann Chichak. “Through track­ing com­plaints from last year to this year, we no­ticed a sig­nif­i­cant de­crease in neg­a­tive com­ments re­gard­ing odours from the plant. Hav­ing the sta­tis­tics and feed­back from res­i­dents to ref­er­ence confirmed that we are on the right track, and we will build on this year’s suc­cess in the fu­ture.”

Stan­tec has con­cluded that the cur­rent fa­cil­ity meets com­pli­ance re­quire­ments and cur­rent needs; how­ever, cap­i­tal en­hance­ments and in­vest­ments would en­hance the plant’s per­for­mance and ca­pac­ity is­sues into the fu­ture. It was noted that the root cause of nui­sance odours from the fa­cil­ity was from ex­ces­sive amounts of in­ert ma­te­rial (sand, gravel, non­biodegrad­able ma­te­ri­als) be­ing pushed through the treat­ment process and stored in the sludge stor­age cells. Stan­tec rec­om­mended a num­ber of short and long term projects, val­ued at $8.2 mil­lion, that could be un­der­taken in the next 2-10 years that would as­sist with re­mov­ing ex­cess in­ert solids, thereby en­hanc­ing op­er­a­tions and mit­i­gat­ing odours.

“Stan­tec’s pre­sen­ta­tion was ex­tremely in­for­ma­tive,” added Mayor Chichak. “The pre­sen­ta­tion, and sub­se­quent re­port, will pro­vide Coun­cil with the de­tails we re­quire to iden­tify our next steps, and plan and bud­get for the fu­ture.”

Coun­cil will be re­view­ing the re­port, and dis­cussing the rec­om­men­da­tions at the Jan­uary 2017 Plan­ning Ses­sion.

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