Sewer smells are caused by a build-up of micro-organisms that produce hydrogen sulfide gas in the sewer system. This often happens where there is low population density, with low turnover of waste material in the pipes. As well as the unpleasant odour, the pipes and equipment may need to be replaced more frequently due to additional wear and tear caused by the gas.

To learn how to reduce the gas, Strathcona County ran an odour control pilot project in Antler Lake.

Bio-Clean pilot project

At the start of April in 2022, all residents in Antler Lake connected to the County wastewater system received a 1-year supply of Bio-Clean, and instructions on how to use it.

Bio-Clean is a solution of natural microbes which breaks down the material that feeds the micro-organisms in the sewer system. The residents were asked to add the product to their household wastewater drainage weekly. They could also sign up for weekly email reminders.


After some early positive results, the reduction of odours with the application of Bio-Clean did not continue for the rest of the pilot period. The analysis of the year’s worth of data concluded that the addition of Bio-Clean at the lift station and resident’s septic tanks did not have a significant effect in the reduction of hydrogen sulfide gas which causes odour.

As a result, the pilot program will not continue after the 1-year mark of April 2023.

Next steps

The County will continue to monitor odour levels and investigate future opportunities as new products and technologies present as viable solutions.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the pilot project.

Water and wastewater services and 24-hour emergency
Phone: 780-467-7785
Fax: 780-464-0557

Last updated: Wednesday, April 05, 2023
Page ID: 51188