Homeowners on Airport Way are appealing to the City of Revelstoke to do something about the smell caused by Revelstoke Mountain Resort dumping its septic waste at the lift station across the street from their house.
“Every time when they do a dump, which sometimes happens multiple times a day, we experience a very strong sewage smell which lasts for hours and which also can be smelled inside our house,” wrote Peter Hiak and W. Petra van Dijk in a letter to mayor and council dated April 5.
They say they’ve complained at least 10 times, and have been waiting for something to be done.
Mike Thomas, the city’s director of engineering, said the complaints were justified. “It was very offensive odour down there,” he said.
He added the city has had discussions with Hiak, van Dijk, and the resort “but obviously the actual situation hasn’t changed.” The city didn’t want to order the resort to stop dumping during the ski eason.
So, what can be done about the smell?
In an interview, Thomas said the sewage “does not appear to meet the quality requirements” set out in the city’s sewage bylaw.
“When sewer lagoons are working properly, it smells earthy – not real stinky,” he said. “In this case, the odour that’s being releases seems to be from sewer that has gone septic, whether partially or fully.”
He said the city, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and the resort were in discussions about an alternate location for RMR to dump its septic, which comes from the day lodge.
He said RMR was allowed to dump their waste at the Illecillewaet lift station, and paid to do so, but they were looking to see if the CSRD’s septic facility at its landfill on Westside Road could handle the extra waste from the resort. He said it amounts to about 40–50 cubic metres per week during the winter. “We’re working towards a solution here that’s going to change the sewer dumping at the Illecillewaet (lift station), but I don’t know what that outcomes going to look like,” Thomas said.
Other options include RMR extending their sewer line from the Monashee Estates to the day lodge, something that is likely prohibitively expensive; or finding somewhere else for them to dump their waste into the city system.
“We want to make sure there is a viable alternative for them and for them to have an opportunity to investigate the options available before we cut them off,” said Thomas.