Sewer smell raises a stink

Stale sewer creating a stinky situation for Okanagan Landing residents

A Vernon politician is fuming over foul odours emanating from a sewer pipe.

Coun. Mary-Jo O’Keefe is demanding to know why sewer-like smells continue to surface from the line along Okanagan Landing Road.

“As soon as it gets warm, it gets bad,” she said.

“It was particularly bad this past weekend.”

The problem is a result of the line, which goes from the Ellison Provincial Park area to the city’s treatment plant, being under-utilized. There isn’t sufficient flow to move material along and it sits in the pipe.

“You’re getting sewer that’s days old by the time it gets to the yacht club,” said Leon Gous, chief administrative officer.

“We always said it would be an operational issue if it’s not at capacity.”

Staff is using a product to minimize the odour and water is used to flush the line.

“We are trying to be proactive but until we are at full capacity with the system, we could have a bit of a problem,” said Shirley Koenig, operation services manager.

“Complaints have been down but maybe people have stopped calling. We thought we were making progress.”

Some council members have suggested forcing more properties on to sewer, but Gous says that even if that occurred, the system would still not be at capacity.

The long-term solution may be more development along Okanagan Landing and Eastside roads.

An interim option may be to access water from Okanagan Lake to boost the line flow.

“If it helps the residents, we should put in a pumphouse,” said Coun. Jack Gilroy.

Staff, though, says lake water could possibly be accessed through a pump at an existing development.