Foul odours keeping some residents inside

Campbellton residents are raising a stink about the sani-station on 17th Avenue

Campbellton residents are raising a stink about the sani-station on 17th Avenue.

Christine O’Connor, who lives directly across from the sani-dump, said the smell is so bad she can’t sit outside her home.

“I still can’t have a barbecue on my porch without the putrid smell of fecal matter rolling through the hot summer air,” O’Connor wrote in a letter to council. “Every Sunday during the summer the traffic is backed up down the street and a constant rolling of RVs and buses continuously dump their refuse right in front of my home.”

O’Connor’s letter to council, dated July 22, is the fifth letter she’s written to council in six years asking for some help.

“Over the past seven years that we have owned our home, I have been in contact with previous mayors, council members and city waste management, numerous times about the dump site,” O’Connor wrote. “All of my correspondences have either been ignored or brushed off.”

But this time, with the backing of the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association and a petition with more than 100 names requesting the closure of the sani-dump, O’Connor is finally getting a response.

Jennifer Peters, the city’s utilities manager, is recommending council decommission the 17th Avenue sani-station following the end of this year’s RV season. Council was expected to consider the recommendation at Tuesday’s council meeting after the Mirror went to press.

Peters said the station, which has been in operation since 1979 generally between May and September, has prompted concern from city staff and costs $3,000 per year to maintain.

“Over the last few years, staff have received several complaints from area residents regarding the odours and general cleanliness of the site, including sewage spills that are not cleaned up by the users,” Peters said in a report to council. “Staff are also concerned about the use of the site and the disposal of materials that are not permitted in the sewer system. Evidence of commercial and non-RV use and prohibited waste being discharged includes the discovery of carpet fibres and other debris on the inlet screen.”

Peters said to meet the needs of RV users, the sani-station should be reasonably clean and functional with water available for flushing and filling potable water tanks as well as garbage disposal; however, the current level of service at the station does not consistently meet those needs.

The other problem is the site is unsupervised.

“Without staff presence, the sewer inlet is frequently plugged and not able to accept sewage until maintenance is completed,” Peters said. “Also, the water hoses are frequently damaged or stolen and therefore users are sometimes unable to clean up spills until the hoses are replaced.”

Peters said one solution is to increase the level of service to provide a quicker response time to spills and plugs but that would cost $10,000 per year and would not guarantee an end to inappropriate use of the facility. Re-locating the sani-station would cost $50,000. A better solution, which would also eliminate the foul odours creeping into the nearby residential neighbourhood, is to de-commission the sani-station at a cost of $3,000, Peters said.

RV users could still use sani-stations at Mohawk (South Island Highway), Shell (Quinsam Crossing), the Quinsam Campground off Highway 28, Miracle Beach, Pacific Playgrounds, and Salmon Point Resort.