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Projects aim to reduce sewage lagoon stench in Cranbrook

The City of Cranbrook is undertaking a pair of projects over the next two years to handle the unpleasant odours emanating from the sewage lagoons in the City’s north end.

Both an upgrade and bypass of the lagoon dyke have been given approval and will be completed over the next couple of years. According to the City, the projects will “greatly improvement” the sewage treatment process and will “significantly reduce” the smell from the lagoons.

Unseasonably warm spring temperatures are one of the main reasons for the unpleasant odour, said the City, which is occurring earlier than normal.

“Because of the cold evenings and warm afternoons, water layers within the lagoons, located at the north end of the City, are constantly flipping due to the dissolved oxygen and density of the water,” said Jason Perrault, Public Works Manager with the City of Cranbrook. “This causes organics to rise from the bottom to the surface creating the odour resembling kitty litter and rotten eggs.”

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While the stench can be quite terrible, Perrault said the odour usually tapers off.

“It is normal for this process to last between 6 to 8 weeks and is why the City is getting concerned calls from nearby residents and businesses over the past couple of weeks.”

The City of Cranbrook said they are aware of the smell and understand resident concerns from those living and working nearby.

Last year Cranbrook was granted $7.3-million from the federal and provincial governments to upgrade the wastewater lagoons.

PREVIOUS: Cranbrook given $7.3-million grant for wastewater system upgrades (July 16, 2020)

An overhead view of Cranbrook’s wastewater lagoons. (Supplied by the City of Cranbrook)
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