Unpleasant Odour – Village of Merrickville-Wolford

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Some residents of Merrickville may have noticed an unpleasant odour in the areas surrounding the Merrickville Wastewater Treatment Facility, which is operated by the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) on behalf of the Village. This odour has increased over the summer months due to the high heat and humidity we have experienced across most of Ontario. Please note that this odour is not a public health risk and will naturally improve with cooler weather.

The odour comes from part of the wastewater treatment process. To upgrade older infrastructure, a new facility was built in 2011 that features a unique sewage treatment process called an ISAM (Integrated Surge Anoxic Mix). During this treatment solids (Sludge) from the process are removed from the bottom of the primary tank and then further processed by adding air to the sludge. It’s this part of the process that unfortunately can lead to unpleasant odour – especially in hot, humid weather. OCWA and the Village took primary steps early this past spring by covering one open tank with rubber mats. This resulted in a reduction of the odour.

While we continue to look into additional alternatives for odour control we have contacted OCWA’s Process Team to assist in developing a strategy. For now, to alleviate some of the odour, staff will be transferring sludge late at night and aerating overnight during cooler ambient temperatures.

Again, please note this odour is not a public health risk and will naturally improve with cooler weather.

If you have any further questions, please contact OCWA staff at 613-269-3247.

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