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Work to start on phase two of Cranbrook’s wastewater lagoon upgrades

Work to make Cranbrook’s wastewater lagoons less smelly and improve treatment is scheduled to start later in the spring.

City of Cranbrook officials said phase two of the wastewater upgrade project will involve work on the lagoons themselves. This job will include sludge removal, berm upgrades, bypass piping and diffuser upgrades at cell one.

The upgrades will bring cell one into compliance with the City’s authorization to discharge municipal effluent.

Desludging and diffuser upgrade work will help minimize odour issues that have been going on for the past few years.

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“Last year we had a particularly bad year for smells. I’m hoping that once we get this whole process done and cleaned up, that will alleviate most of it,” said Mayor Lee Pratt.

City staff said there will likely be significant smell issues experienced this spring and while desludging and sewage handling work is going on.

Residents will be updated throughout the project, especially when the odour becomes much more noticeable.

“We’ve been planning for almost three years now to clean out the lagoons and the first contract to come in was way over budget, like almost three times,” said Mayor Lee Pratt. “We came up with another plan and this is part of that. Now we’re going to desludge the number two first and introduce another process. Unfortunately, that [cost] came up a little higher, too, but we have to move forward with it.”

The first phase of the project was mostly completed in 2021, with a value of nearly $4.5-million. City officials said that part of the project included a new trunk man that enters the lagoons from the intersection of Victoria Avenue and Highway 3.

The project is mostly funded by $7.3-million from both the federal and provincial governments.

This breaks down to more than $4.1-million in funds from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program and over $3.2-million from the B.C. government.

The City of Cranbrook’s portion of the project is $822,066

“The City of Cranbrook gratefully acknowledges the financial commitment of both the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia toward this important environmental work,” said city officials.

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