Vernon politicians insist a foul odour permeating Polson Park needs to be investigated further.
The city has received a letter from the Regional District of North Okanagan stating that the odour is from a nearby commercial property and not RDNO’s septic receiving facility.
“I’m not satisfied until the odour is gone and RDNO needs to deal with it,” said Coun. Scott Anderson.
While residents and some city officials point the finger at the septic facility for the odour, RDNO says the smell isn’t sewer but methane.
“It is my understanding that the site of the Shops at Polson Park is a former sawmill site and there may be a significant amount of organic matter buried deep on the site,” said Dale McTaggart, RDNO general manager of engineering.
“Organic matter undergoing anaerobic decomposition produces methane gas. The parking lot catch basins may be providing a path of least resistance for the methane gas to migrate.”
McTaggart goes on to say that the odour inside the septic treatment facility can be strong but the quantity of material inside the building is limited.
“It was rare that there was any odour detected outside of perimeter fence,” he said.
“Given the relatively small quantity of odour-causing material at the septage treatment facility, it is unlikely that this odour would be detectable any distance away from the facility.”
Coun. Catherine Lord wants some answers.
“It may be time for the city to look at it instead of just thinking it’s the septage facility,” she said.
“If it’s methane from the old site, I’m not sure what can be done.”
Anderson also isn’t sure what can be done to address the problem.
“We need to identify the source before we talk about solutions,” he said.
Representatives for the Shops at Polson Park did not provide comment.