District of Invermere Sewer Lagoons Information Update

 In Community, Home, Utilities

On May 13th, 2020, the District of Invermere staff started noticing an odour coming from cell #1 of the sewer lagoons. Many of our Residents in nearby neighborhoods also expressed concerns about these smells that were coming from the sewage lagoons. Here is a quick explanation.

The lagoon is a natural system that depends on a balance of living organisms to treat wastewater and break down the sewer. When the temperature drops, the organisms do not work as fast and when polluted they will die off. The system is quite fragile and is susceptible to contamination that could kill the lagoon.

Below are a few factors that may have contributed to this by slowing down or killing these beneficial organisms:

  • Extreme temperature variations.
  • Cleaning products and hand sanitizer due to COVID-19 (that are designed to kill organisms).
  • Excessive dumping of pools and hot tubs.
  • Paint and Paint thinners. (during isolation home renovations and painting had increased).

After staff smelled the odour, they started adding more Acti-Zyme and continued to add Acti-Zyme daily. Acti-Zyme is specifically formulated to increase the rate of digestion of organics in wastewater.

Staff consulted with the supplier and were advised to shock the system with Acti-Zyme in which staff did. They repeated this process again a few days later, as well as adding daily Acti-Zyme to the lagoon.

The District’s Chief Utility Operator diverted more air to cell #1 to increase digestion and the two operators added two pumps to recirculate effluent, hoping to introduce more air.

The process did not have an overnight solution and was going to have a slow recovery. Staff feel that everything is on the right track and they will continue moving forward with these solutions.

If the public has any questions or concerns please contact the District Office at 250-342-9281 or info@invermere.net

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