ACRWC recognizes that odours from our system can cause concern. We are working, both in our day-to-day operations and our long-term system improvement planning, to minimize odour.
What causes odours?
Usually, odour arises where there are bends and turns in our wastewater lines, or where one line meets another. The agitation of the wastewater as it moves around the bends creates odour-causing compounds like hydrogen sulphide.
Do odours mean the air isn’t safe to breathe?
Although odours are unpleasant, they don’t pose any health risk. We vigorously monitor the air quality around our lines to make sure it’s safe for our technicians and members of the public.
We evaluate air quality using standards set for occupational health and safety. Air that meets these standards is safe for people to work in for hours at a time, and the air quality above our lines (even in areas where we know odour is a problem) falls well within occupational health and safety guidelines.
Valour Avenue and 127th Street
We’re aware that odour is an ongoing problem at the intersection of Valour Avenue and 127th Street. There are several turns and bends in this section of our system, and it’s also the point where Sturgeon County’s Tuscany wastewater line joins ours and three pump stations discharge into a gravity sewer.
The high level of hydraulic activity at this site agitates the wastewater and leads to odour. Redesigning and replacing this section of the system is the only lasting solution to this problem – plans for that large-scale adjustment are underway, and we’re doing what we can to reduce the odour in the meantime.
Odour Reduction Measures
We add caustic soda to our system to neutralize odour-producing compounds as much as possible. We also check areas where we’ve had an odour complaint for any unsealed manhole covers or other problems. Wherever we can, we fix these issues immediately.
In some areas, like the intersection at Valour Avenue and 127th Street, the only true solution is to reconfigure and replace the wastewater lines so the water flows more smoothly. This is a major undertaking that won’t be complete for a number of years, but planning is underway to get it done.
Reporting Odour Issues
If you’re concerned about odours in a particular area, please get in touch with us. We want to hear from residents when there’s a problem.
If you contact us with an odour complaint, we’ll investigate the problem area, do what we can to fix the issue and report back to you on what we’ve done. Even if there isn’t an immediate solution, we’ll follow up with you to explain what’s causing the odour and how we’ll address the problem in the long term.
To report an odour issue, please contact our control room at 780-416-9967.