I would like to take this opportunity to let villagers know that fixing odour issue that the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) is having is a very high priority for the Village and the Civic Works operators. This issue will not last forever, unfortunately it is not turning out to be an easy fix; which I know is not much consolation to all of you and your families, friends and your neighbours at this time.
Over the winter, after a lengthy construction period, we completed upgrading the WWTP systems. Left until after the spring thaw was the emptying, cleaning and repairing one of the racetracks which had not been emptied for many years. (A racetrack is a kind of pond where the waste material is stirred and settles while micro bacteria do their thing in breaking down the waste.) Transferring the waste from one track to the other creates major havoc with the breakdown process and depletes the necessary oxygen levels and takes weeks for everything to settle back to normal. However, extremely high heat, such as we have been having the past few weeks, depletes the oxygen levels even further. Reduced oxygen allows odour-causing bacteria to flourish and create the odour that villagers have been experiencing.
As with any change in systems it takes a while to get the bugs worked out of the system. A couple of times we thought the issue was pretty much resolved, then it came back. Adding chemicals helps somewhat, but there is a delicate balance between a helpful amount and one that creates further issues. Staff are working hard on finding a solution and have been consulting with industry experts and operators in other municipalities. Even so, they agree that the issue appears to be abnormal. We are expecting some lab results on a series of tests which may assist with the issue, as well as investigating whether or not additional equipment is required. We hope to resolve the issue for good very soon and Council is committed to finding any necessary funding should costs be over our normal maintenance budget.