On August, 29, 2017, an estimated 100 litres of polymer accidentally entered the Sechelt Water Resource Centre’s wet well, primary tank and three of the four greenhouse reactor tanks. A sample of the plant effluent is tested by a certified laboratory monthly. The sample for the month of August, 2017 was taken on August 29th. The results (click here to view) show effluent was within required parameter levels, with the exception of the ammonia levels. The higher ammonia level is suspected to be related to the polymer incident. As 90% of wastewater treatment process at the Centre is biological, full process recovery will take a period of time. The ammonia level will continue to be monitored and corrective action will be taken to bring the levels into compliance.
Polymer is an inert, organic substance used at the Centre to help collect and separate the biosolids from liquid. When polymer infiltrated the reactor tanks some of the microbes were destroyed which disrupted the treatment process.
The Centre continued to accept and treat incoming wastewater throughout the incident. Over the following two days, three vacuum trucks were used to clean out the impacted tanks. The contents were hauled to Sechelt’s Dusty Road sludge lagoon for disposal. The District apologizes to area residents for any inconvenience caused by the increase in truck traffic and in odors from tank clean out process.
A delivery of microbes to recharge the treatment system was received from the Town of Gibsons Wastewater Treatment Plant on August 30th. The District extends thanks to our neighbouring local government for the assistance.