Township attempts to sniff out source of mysterious stench

Walnut Grove residents have complained for several years about a recurring smell of raw sewage in their neighbourhood

The Township is attempting to tackle the mystery of the unpleasant odour in Walnut Grove.

In the past few years, there have been numerous complaints from residents in the Walnut Grove and Port Kells areas of occasional raw sewage smells, a Township report to council says.

Metro Vancouver, which is responsible for air quality and operation of regional sewage facilities, is doing an ongoing investigation into the cause of the smell, however it has been difficult to pin-point as there are numerous potential sources, the report says.

It could be coming from Township-operated or Metro Vancouver-operated sanitary sewer systems, or private industry operations.

In the meantime, the Township has narrowed down one particular source that is now being dealt with.

On Jan. 30, council approved the transfer of $295,000 from the Old Yale Road sanitary lift station replacement account to allow for improvements to the 96 Avenue sanitary sewer system, particularly an air valve at the sanitary lift station.

Located in the 21200 block of 96 Avenue, this sanitary lift station is a major sewage pumping facility, servicing most of Walnut grove, and parts of Fort Langley. It was built in 1981 “without any odour control measures in accordance with standards and specifications applicable at the time,” the report says.

While fixing this will help mitigate the issue, the report does note “complete elimination of all odours may not be possible due to the location of a regional sewage treatment facility and nature of private industry operations in the area.”

Township staff are working with Metro Vancouver to eventually eliminate all odours, once and for all.

The Old Yale Road sanitary sewage lift station will still be upgraded, however it will now be funded in conjunction with the Historic Old Yale Road project.