Something stinks in Walnut Grove

Township staff asked to investigate mysterious odour in North Langley neighbourhood

Councillor Michelle Sparrow says something smells in Walnut Grove. The source of the mystery order hasn't been found.

Sometimes, living in Langley’s Walnut Grove stinks.

There is a recurrent odour problem that is a little like living next to a pulp mill, councillor Michelle Sparrow says.

“It’s toxic-smelling,” Sparrow told council on Dec. 1, “really bothersome.”

A  report to council by fire chief Stephen Gamble shows there have been several complaints about unpleasant smells in the Walnut Grove area of the Township dating back to August of this year.

In nine cases, people have called 911, worried the smell was a potentially explosive gas leak.

Sparrow said it’s been happening in every kind of weather, and when it does, it permeates her whole house.

In the first two of the 911 calls about a bad odour, the fire department identified the sewage treatment station at 21200 96 Avenue as a possible source.

That could not be confirmed, however, and the remaining reports said tests with a gas detector were unable to determine exactly where the smell came from.

The report says there was evidence of “odour emanating from non-farm operations in the area” and those have been passed on to the Metro Vancouver regional authority which is in charge of air quality.

The Township engineering department has ordered increased cleaning and flushing of the sewage treatment system, including adding a “masking agent” and installing filters.

Sparrow is asking Metro Vancouver to investigate.

Meanwhile, Walnut Grove residents who get a whiff of something unpleasant are being advised by Township staff to report it to Metro Vancouver’s 24-hour air quality complaint line at 604-436-6777.

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