A partnership between the Regional District of Nanaimo and Vancouver Island University is being forged to establish an odour monitoring program at the French Creek Pollution Control Centre.
The centre, which absorbs and treats wastewater from 27,000 people and businesses in Qualicum Beach, Parksville and regional service areas, hasreceived complaints about the odour emanating from the facility.
The issue is a challenge the RDN recognizes, as it is located near residential areas, public parks, the Island Highway and recreational amenities.
As the population in the area grows, the RDN plans to expand the treatment plant, which is in the detailed design phase, to accommodate additional capacity and ensure the RDN’s ability to meet the province and federal government’s upgraded effluent regulations.
Wastewater program co-ordinator Shelley Norum, in her report to the RDN board on Dec. 4, indicated that the regional district must ensure that sufficient odour control upgrades are undertaken at both the existing plant and the additional infrastructure.
The RDN-VIU partnerships aims to implement a state of the art odour monitoring program using specialized technology to fingerprint current odour emissions at the centre and introduce measures to improve air quality, reduce odour complaints and enhance the overall quality of life for neighbouriong residents and visitors.
The RDN is contributing $20,000 to the partnership to be matched by a $20,000 grant from VIU’s Regional Initiatives Fund. VIU will also be provide in-kind contribution valued at $21,100 for faculty, staff time, vehicle use, instrumentation use and office space. The RDN will contribute engineering and operations staff estimated 80 hours of time to the project.