British Columbia

Metro Vancouver proposes $30M-plan to deal with sewage stench

Metro Vancouver is proposing to spend $30 million on odour treatment plants after complaints about stench rising from sewer lines.

Metro Vancouver wants to build five facilities that will get rid of the foul sewage stench

Metro Vancouver is proposing an air management facility at Musqueam Park in Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver)

Metro Vancouver is proposing to spend $30 million on odour treatment plants after complaints about stench rising from sewer lines.

"Oh my God, it's so foul," said Musqueam Band member Johnna Sparrow-Crawford, who lives near Musqueam Park in south Vancouver. "I've been living in my house now for 15 years so, we get it pretty darn good where we're at. It just totally smells like raw sewage."

Metro Vancouver wants to build a facility in Musqueam Park, which sits atop a major sewer line. About 90 percent of Vancouver's waste — plus some from Burnaby — flows underneath the area.  

Metro Vancouver also wants to build an additional four plants in other parts of the region. The Vancouver Park Board will vote on the proposal Monday night.

Darrell Mussatto, chair of the Metro Vancouver Utilities Committee and mayor of North Vancouver, says the smell doesn't pose any health risks or impact the air quality. However, he understands people's frustration.

"We've had growing populations here in the Lower Mainland for quite some time," he told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.

"More people means more waste water, so it's growing to a point where we're going to have to do something about it in a few areas."

Mussatto says the proposed facility at Musqueam Park would be about the size of a three-car garage, and will mostly be below ground. He says it will remove 99.5 per cent of the smelly compounds in the sewer line, so the air that comes up will be odourless.

If approved, Mussatto says the five facilities will be completed over the next five to 10 years, and he hopes shovels can hit the ground in the fall.  

To hear the full interview with Darrell Mussatto, click on the audio labelled: Metro Vancouver floats odour treatment.

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