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Town ending commercial dumping at lagoons

Craig Fox says no complaints about the lagoons have been received from Alberta Environment

DIDSBURY - The Town of Didsbury is permanently ending commercial dumping at the sanitary lagoons effective Sept. 1, officials say.

Council passed a motion at the recent regularly scheduled council meeting regarding the matter. The sanitary lagoons are located west of Highway 2A on the town’s southeast boundary.

“It’s really being proactive on our part,” said mayor Rhonda Hunter. “At the present time we have no quantity or quality control on incoming fluids into our lagoon and we always want to ensure the quality of what goes into the lagoon.

“Our municipal wastewater is stable when it goes into the lagoon, and the only other source of incoming fluid is the town’s commercial dumping access to our lagoon.

“We don’t ever want to be a position where we can’t dump our effluent. We want to make sure that our tests are good and that we can release on time and that we don’t have any issues with Alberta Environment and the code of practice that they set.”

Craig Fox, director of engineering and infrastructure, says no complaints about the lagoons have been received from Alberta Environment (AE).

“The town has a code of practice which dictates our lagoon release conditions,” said Fox. “The (wastewater) department engaged AE following some issues associated with one of the tests and worked collaboratively with AE to receive permission to release the upper lagoon and to determine potential areas of concern.”

Following the investigation, the primary treatment cells were identified as being a potential source of concern, he said.

“The primary treatment cells are the first stage of treatment and receive the municipal flow along with the commercial dumping inlet. Commercial dumping typically contains more sediments and non-treatable solids than municipal fluids,” he said.

The accumulation of solids are the main reason for treatment cell issues, he said.

“Based on the current information, the department recommended council close the commercial intake,” he said. “September was agreed upon to allow vendors time to work with their clients and plan for logistical changes the closure will cause.

“The municipality is preparing for maintenance activities to restore the depth of the treatment cell and rejuvenate the cells’ capacity to treat effluent.”

The town received approximately $40,000 in commercial dumping fees in 2020.

Asked if the town will be allowing commercial dumping in the future, mayor Hunter said, “At this point the motion is to permanently close commercial dumping. Whether or not that will change in the future I can’t say, but the decision now is to permanently close it to commercial dumping.”


Dan Singleton

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