Editorial: Bigger concerns than smell to solve with Salmon Arm sewage treatment plant

Editorial: Bigger concerns than smell to solve with Salmon Arm sewage treatment plant

City seeking public input on site selection process

For a long time there’s been talk of relocating Salmon Arm’s wastewater treatment plant from the foreshore.

That discussion has come to the forefront with the city seeking public input on its site selection process for an upgraded treatment facility.

The wastewater treatment plant has been operating at its current location by Shuswap Lake for 43 years. The 121 Narcisse Street NW site was chosen after a proposal to put it on Minion Field, at 2191 30th Street SW, was rejected by the Agricultural Land Commission and the Provincial Pollution Control Board.

According to the city, the plant was initially designed to service a population of 6,250.

Several substantial and expensive upgrades have since occurred at the facility in the process increasing its capacity to service a population of 15,000.

A 2017 engineering report found the plant was working at 90 per cent of that 15,000 design capacity. The city’s 2018 annual report on wastewater treatment and collection states most of the plant’s major unit processes can operate in excess of that capacity. Exceptions include anoxic and anaerobic reactors, which form part of the phosphate removal process. At that time these were approaching capacity limits.

Read more: City of Salmon Arm wants input on site for wastewater treatment

Read more: Tappen area of Shuswap Lake shows high phosphorous and nitrogen levels

Read more: Contaminants seeping into Shuswap Lake remains a concern

It was estimated then that upgrades would be needed between 2020 and 2025.

Since 2016, the population of Salmon Arm has jumped from 17,000 to more than 20,000.

All of the above emphasize the need for an upgraded and/or relocated facility.

Then there’s the health of Shuswap Lake. While elevated contaminant levels have been largely blamed on agricultural sources, the risk of leakage along the foreshore associated with the treatment plant is not unfounded.

Lastly, there’s the smell from that plant that sometimes finds its way into parts of the downtown. Certainly, as residential development continues to grow around 121 Narcisse, so to will the desire to see the plant placed somewhere else.

No doubt the site selection process comes packaged with significant challenges. Hopefully, we’ll find ways to address these sooner than later, as an overworked sewage treatment plant seems a pressing priority.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

#Salmon Arm

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Vernon Vipers defeated the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 3-1 to secure the top spot in the BC Hockey League Vernon pod Friday, May 7, 2021. (Lisa Mazurek Photography)
VIDEO: Vipers beat Salmon Arm, clinch top spot in BCHL Vernon pod

Goaltender James Porter Jr. was a wall for the Vipers, who outscored the Silverbacks 3-1 Friday

A proposed development would see two four-storey affordable housing complexes erected on Adair Street in Armstrong, next to the Nor-Val Arena. (Google Maps)
Local tenants to be prioritized for Armstrong affordable housing project

Staff have drafted an expression of interest to find a developer to move forward with on the project

The 2021 Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival will be a virtual event and is slated to take place Aug. 13 and 14.(Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Virtual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues returns for 2021

Participating artists will stream live during two-night event

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

Darren Landy stands next to his six-by-10-foot trailer that he uses to haul yard waste to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District landfill in Salmon Arm. Because the trailer is tandem axle, he is charged for disposal. There is no fee for yard waste dropped off by car or single-axle trailers. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Resident caught in tandem-axle dilemma at Salmon Arm landfill

Darren Landy argues larger single-axle trailers loaded with yard waste are being dumped for free

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

City of Vernon Coun. Dalvir Nahal proposed two blocks of Main Street be closed to bolster recovery for downtown businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
Vernon’s ‘support local’ Main Street closure would cost city $24K, staff say

Bylaw costs, loss of parking revenue and equipment logistics behind price tag

Five properties have been added to the Lake Country fire protection zone, after council moved to expand the local service area Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Google Maps)
Lake Country expands fire protection zone, covering 5 exposed properties

The properties petitioned to join the local service area after being left out ‘for reasons unknown’

VSAR’s Air Rescue One unit assisted in a rescue in West Kelowna May 3, 2021. (VSAR screenshot)
VIDEO: VSAR’s Air Rescue One team assists in West Kelowna Rescue

The Vernon Search and Rescue helicopter team pulled off a successful rescue Monday

Peachland resident and cleanup volunteer Lloyd Stinson Sotas holds up a discarded TV riddled with bullet holes. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
PHOTOS: Peachland residents clean up community watershed

More than 70 people gave back to Mother Earth by assisting with the cleanup

Officials are surveying the streets of Vernon to get a better sense of the issue of homelessness in the city, as part of the province’s point-in-time homeless count for 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Province conducts homeless count in Vernon

It’s the first time Vernon has been included in the provincial homeless count

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Most Read