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The smell in Polson Park might not be what you think it is

Recycling and facilities operations manager Dale Danallanko.
October 17, 2015 - 10:35 AM

VERNON - The smelly situation around Vernon’s Polson Park might be coming from deep underground.

People have been complaining about a foul odour in and around the park, a problem Vernon city councillor Juliette Cunningham brought up at a meeting earlier this week.

Cunningham speculated the smell might be coming from the regional district’s sani-dump located on Polson Drive. But Dale Danallanko, the regional district’s recycling and facilities operations manager, says it’s unlikely the septage plant is the source of the smell.

“Certainly a septage treatment facility can have odour associated with it, however this facility is relatively small, it’s enclosed, and we do have odour treatment and mitigation in place,” Danallanko says. “We’ve always tried to be a good neighbour. We don’t want to be seen, heard or smelled.”

The facility, which has been in operation for about ten years, processes material pumped and collected from commercial septic tanks in Vernon. The small facility is located behind the Kal Tire store on Kalamalka Road, and backs onto Polson Park. On a cool October morning, only a faint whiff of the operation could be detected directly outside the facility. The odour was strongest inside the treatment building, and not noticeable at all from the roadway.

“We would be very surprised if the odour travels far from the property,” Danallanko says. “It should have minimal impact past the fence of the property. I would be surprised if there was an ongoing, significant impact in the vicinity of the boardwalk in Polson Park.”

The only time the smell might be more noticeable is in the summertime when it’s hot and the doors of the facility are opened up, he says. Still, that would only account for a localized odour, and Danallanko believes the smell people are noticing near Polson mall and along Highway 6 — at least 200 metres from the treatment plant — is coming from another source.

“It’s my understanding that the Polson Mall site itself is a former sawmill site and there is organic matter at depth under the mall property that for many years has ben continuing to decompose that may be contributing to the odour that people recognize particularly in proximity to Galaxy Cinemas,” Danallanko says.

During a visit to the north-end of the mall parking lot by the movie theatre, a potent, eggy smell could be detected, particularly around open storm drains. There’s some indication the drains used to be plugged shut to eliminate the odour, but it appears they are all currently open.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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