Spallumcheen plant considers Armstrong sewer

A Spallumcheen company will conduct a study to see if it can hook onto Armstrong’s sewer system.

A Spallumcheen company will conduct a study to see if it can hook onto Armstrong’s sewer system.

The Gambrinus Malting Corporation, which supplies the finest quality specialty malts to the brewing industry, has applied to use the city’s sewer system to put its waste water in.

“Waste water is a product of their malting process,” said Coun. Sully O’Sullivan, chair of the city’s public works committee. “It’s fairly clean already.”

Two councillors expressed concern about the application, with Ryan Nitchie and Paul Britton stating such a request being granted would set a dangerous precedent for the city.

“Our official community plan is clear in that prior to accepting effluent from outside our community,  it would have to come directly from the township of Spallumcheen,” said Nitchie.

“I’m concerned with this application we’re circumventing the process that should be existing.”

“The process is flawed,” added Britton. “We need to address our OCP before allowing businesses to come in. We need to deal with the township and go from there.”

If successful, allowing Gambrinus to hook up to the city sewer would use one half of one per cent of the system’s capacity.

“But add on the point-five per cent from other industrial park users who see this, and see an opportunity to bypass their government and come directly to our government,” said Nitchie.

Gambrinus recently announced plans for a $4 million expansion to its Spallumcheen industrial park facility.

Coun. John Trainor didn’t see a dangerous precedent being set with the application, which came directly from Gambrinus and not the township.

“Our sewer system is a commercial enterprise in a sense,” said Trainor. “All we’re doing is offering a commercial service to a commercial customer.

“If the engineers agree our system can handle it, it’s beneficial to the city. I think it’s a business decision.”

Coun. Shirley Fowler said it’s still the city’s decision as to who else – if anyone – they allow on its sewer system.

In the end, council voted 5-2 in favour of a recommendation for a consultant to research if Gambrinus’ waste water product would have any harmful effect on Armstrong’s sewer system with Gambrinus paying for the study.

Nitchie and Britton were opposed to the motion.