Wastewater

Spring odour in Ardrossan

Residents may notice an odour in the Ardrossan area. The County is working to address the issue. It has been confirmed this odour is coming from the lagoon. While the strong smell is unpleasant, there is no health risk.

The odour is due to a new section of the lagoon that has not yet had the opportunity to naturally mature. These facilities can produce various types of odours throughout the year.

The County is monitoring and working to lessen odour issues. Because lagoons require time to break down organic materials through natural processes, it is anticipated the current strong odour will take a month or more before it begins to reduce.

For more information, contact Utilities at 780-467-7785.

Wastewater

Strathcona County Utilities operates and maintains all underground sewer systems for:

  • Sherwood Park
  • Ardrossan
  • Josephburg
  • Collingwood Cove
  • Half Moon Lake
  • Antler Lake
  • South Cooking Lake

This includes the infrastructure serviced by low-pressure sewer systems from the property up to and including the lift station and lagoons.

As a homeowner, you are responsible for repairs to water or wastewater (sewer) pipes on your property. Water or wastewater lines on public property are the responsibility of the County. 

To learn more about wastewater and preventing your home from flooding, check out these informative videos made by the City of Edmonton.

What is a wastewater lagoon?

A wastewater lagoon is a large, man-made shallow pond where wastewater is held and treated. Lagoons are a common type of sewage treatment in Canada for smaller communities. Wastewater is used water that has been used in any type of human use, such as washing, flushing and manufacturing for homes, businesses and industries. This wastewater flows into the lagoon and the materials in the water are broken down by bacteria. The sun and wind provide light, warmth and oxygen to keep the lagoon working.

Lagoon FAQs

  • 1. Why does the County use lagoons for wastewater treatment? Permanent link to Why does the County use lagoons for wastewater treatment?

    Wastewater lagoons are typically used in small communities such as Ardrossan, Josephburg and others in Strathcona County because they are the most economical and efficient for smaller population centres.

     

  • 2. Why do lagoons smell sometimes? Permanent link to Why do lagoons smell sometimes?

    A healthy lagoon has clear blue-, brown- or green tinged water and a faint earthy odor. Strong smells may develop throughout the year due to increased demands on the system during seasonal changes.

    Because lagoons require time to break down organic materials through natural processes, strong odours take time to reduce. While a strong smell may be unpleasant it does not pose a health risk.

  • 3. What happens to lagoons during the winter? Permanent link to What happens to lagoons during the winter?

    In colder climates like ours, low temperatures and ice will reduce the efficiency of the lagoon during winter months. This can result in odours in the early spring and fall as the system adjusts to the new weather conditions.

Protect the environment with these tips:

  • Don't pour fats, oils and grease down the drain. Instead, cool and place them into your green organics cart. These substances clog pipes, leading to costly repairs.
  • Take unused medications to the pharmacy for disposal rather than flushing them down the toilet. Pharmaceuticals are not treated and end up in our water and environment.
  • Use phosphate-free cleaning products to reduce phosphorus levels in the river. Phosphorous is a nutrient that promotes algae growth, which negatively affects our aquatic environments.
  • Take household hazardous waste, such as motor oil, pesticides, herbicides, solvents, paints and chemicals to 
  • Use your organics cart for vegetable peelings and food instead of a garburator. Ground organic materials cost more to treat and must be disposed of at the wastewater treatment plant.
  • Watch this video by EPCOR to learn more where our water comes from and goes

Utilities
Phone: 780-467-7785
Email: scutilities@strathcona.ca

Last updated: Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Page ID: 38303