Sewage stink plaguing scenic N.S. tourist town cleared with new biofilter

Lunenburg

One of Nova Scotia's most scenic tourist towns appears to have rid itself of a nasty smell that would often drive residents indoors during the summer.

Lunenburg town engineer Lee Fougere says a biofilter installed at the sewage treatment plant last winter at a cost of more than $1.1 million is now taking care of the foul odour that had become more noticeable during recent dry summers.

Fougere says the plant collects both sanitary and storm water, and reduced water levels often meant the plant's exhaust was pumped directly into the air.

He says with the new system, the air is pushed underground through perforated pipes and up through a pile of crushed tree roots where the odour is absorbed through a process called biological disintegration.

Deputy mayor John McGee says the biofilter seems to be working as the town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, now considers upgrades to its entire sewage system because of sediment that has fouled parts of the harbour.

Testing conducted last summer saw elevated levels of fecal contamination at several sites in the harbour and near the waterfront.