Nova Scotia

Mysterious odour drifting through Nova Scotia town

Residents in Liverpool, N.S., are experiencing a stinky start to summer, prompting municipal councillors in the area to call a meeting Monday night to discuss the mystery odour in the town.

Possible solutions in Liverpool include desludging wastewater treatment lagoon

Residents of Liverpool, N.S., have been smelling a strange odour in town. (Submitted by Region of Queens Municipality)

Residents in Liverpool, N.S., are experiencing a stinky start to summer, prompting municipal councillors in the area to call a meeting Monday night to discuss the mystery odour wafting through town.

"There are certainly a number of residents that are impacted by the obnoxious odour on various days," said David Dagley, mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality.

Dagley, who will chair the meeting, said Liverpool is adjacent to both a large wetland area and a wastewater treatment facility featuring an aerated lagoon system.

"We have impacts from the swamp smell from the wetland. We have, likely, an ongoing issue with our wastewater treatment facility, but that normally dissipates in a very short distance from that facility and doesn't negatively impact residents," Dagley told CBC's Information Morning.

"We continue to explore solutions to both."

This wetland in Liverpool, N.S., is a potential cause of a bad odour that has wafted through the town. (Submitted by Region of Queen Municipality)

The smell intensity seems depend on weather conditions. Dagley said wind direction, rain and humidity determine whether the smell blows out to sea or lingers in town.

So far, efforts to curb the scent have included skimming fats and oils from the wastewater treatment facility, and flushing the sewer lines from Liverpool to the nearby village of Milton in order to remove sewage residue from the pipes.

Another potential option is spending up to $150,000 to desludge the primary lagoon at the treatment facility. That will be discussed in a separate council meeting on Tuesday night.

"It takes up space within the lagoon when you have solids, so we want to remove those to allow more space within the lagoon for the water to exchange and be aerated and break down," said Dagley.

David Dagley is the mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality. (CBC)

The source of the smell has been rumoured to stem from illegal sewage dumping at the marsh, but Dagley said that's simply not true.

"It's been proven that there's no sewage being dumped into the marsh, and as a matter of fact, the marsh does not carry that smell at this time," he said.

Dagley said both Kentville and New Minas experienced similar issues with odour this past spring due to extensive rain and lack of sun.

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