Work continues at rectifying Osoyoos' sewage treatment problem

Sewage treatment long road

Osoyoos continues to work at getting its wayward sewage treatment system under control as it progresses towards resetting the four lagoon treatment system.

The problem stems from a failure in Cell #2 of the treatment system which caused the decomposition process to stop resulting in strong odours being emitted.

The only longer-term fix is to take the failed cell offline in order for it to be drained and cleaned, before restarting the process.

In an update from the town, Rod Risling, Osoyoos’s Chief Administrative Officer told the Times Chronicle that work is progressing with the Ministry of Environment.

“They are assisting us as much as they can so we can expedite the longer-term solution. The team has been working with experts to assist the expertise that we have in-house.”

He noted that there has been some noticeable improvement in the odour situation from late last week.

“They’ve been trying some different things,” Risling said of town staff and this includes using various chemicals and also putting in some aerators.

“They are trying to make the conditions as optimal as possible, given the situation that we have. They’ll keep monitoring, and as the hot weather causes additional issues, we’ll have to see what happens with that.

“Unfortunately, there’s going to be issues for a while,” he added, noting that the approval process will take weeks if not months before the pond can be drained. “They’re expediting some of those approvals,” but it’s still a long-term process, he added.

A new wastewater treatment plant would cost upwards of $40 million with an annual operating cost increase of $300,000.

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