PEI

Getting rid of toxic algae in O'Leary sewage lagoon to be costly

The town of O'Leary, P.E.I., is working to get blue-green algae out of its sewage lagoon, a project which could cost the municipality in excess of $500,000.

The municipality hopeful cost will be covered under surplus funds from its gas tax

Blue-green algae can make humans sick and can be deadly for animals. At least three dogs died after being exposed to it in the Saint John River in 2018. (Submitted by: University of Alberta)

The town of O'Leary, P.E.I., is working to get blue-green algae out of its sewage lagoon, a project which could cost the municipality in excess of $500,000. 

The toxic algae can make humans sick and can be deadly for animals. At least three dogs died after being exposed to it in the Saint John River in 2018.

"It definitely could be in excess of half-a-million dollars that we're looking to having to invest in correcting this issue," said deputy mayor Darren MacKinnon.

Gas tax

An official estimate on how much the project will cost is still yet to be determined, MacKinnon said.

The municipality is hopeful the cost will be covered under surplus funds from its gas tax — some of which will be redistributed from previous years it was not fully utilized, MacKinnon said. 

Correcting the issue will likely involve introducing additional shade to the lagoon, removing sludge and installing an aerator machine.

"We obviously rely on third-party consultants to provide us with direction and recommendations in order to rectify situations such as this, so we're being proactive as a council and trying to get this resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible," he said.

For now, a timeline for the project's expected completion has not been determined, MacKinnon said.

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