Vernon pumps money into odour control at biosolids plant

Council approves $127,500 for water system upgrade at Commonage facility

The City of Vernon is trying to deal with a stinky situation.

Council agreed Monday to spend $127,500 for a water system at the biosolids composting facility in the Commonage.

“A reduction in smell may occur,” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky.

Complaints are common from nearby residents about an odour emanating from the facility that takes from sewer biosolids and turns it into Ogogrow fertilizer.

“There seems to be an issue for some residents at some times,” said Sawatzky.

“We have to approve anything reasonably affordable that helps with the situation.”

As part of the composting process, water must be available to ensure the correct moisture content occurs in the material.

Presently the process uses treated reclaimed waste water but it’s not available outside of the spray irrigation season. The plan is to access reclaimed water from nearby McKay reservoir.

Along with Vernon, Kelowna will provide $297,500 because it is also an owner of the biosolids facility.

Coun. Patrick Nicol insists the water system is necessary to ensure that the city doesn’t contravene provincial permits. But he insists the most important factor is to provide residents with some relief from the odour.

“This seems to make a lot of sense and I hope it will make an impact,” he said.