A frequent smell in the community of Eastern Passage, N.S., has residents pointing fingers. The Halifax Water Commission says it’s a problem with the pipes – now people living in the area want something done about it.
Christine Rose has been living in the community for the past 30 years. However, over the past five years, she says the frequent smell in the area has been cause for much distress.
"I get headaches all the time because of this smell as soon as I walk out of the door,” says Rose. “That's no way to live, and I'm not moving. I was here way before them – I ain't moving. They better do something to help me cause I can't do this anymore."
And it’s not just Rose with such sentiments.
“It smells like an outhouse or worse – it's putrid,” says resident Kevin Ward. “This is a major tourist community. Nearby there are daycare centres, a military base, kids going to summer camps. It's terrible – it's an embarrassment.”
Residents suspect the cause of the smell is the nearby wastewater treatment facility, which was rebuilt in 2014.
However, the Halifax Water Commission says the plant isn’t causing the problem. Instead, it cites underground pipes running to the plant as the cause.
"When we have periods of hot, dry weather as we have had for the past couple months, sometimes the flow in the collection system goes septic, and those odours come out of the piping system," says Halifax Water Commission communications and public relations coordinator, James Campbell.
Residents say they are tired of the smell and it's time to do something about it.
"Perhaps they should have planned for that,” says Ward. “It's a brand new plant. It's a regular problem, and they need to come up with a regular fix.”
Politicians in the area agree, further validating residents’ concerns.
"It's unacceptable because it's affecting the businesses in the community and the apartments around there. People aren't going to want to move there and visit businesses there if they associate those businesses with a smell like that,” says Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage MLA Barbara Adams. “Plus, it leads into our community, into Fisherman's Cove, which is a major tourism area. This is just not acceptable for the community."
Meanwhile, residents await a resolution to the unpleasant aroma plaguing their community.
"I've been here 30 years, and I love this place,” says Rose. “But that smell has got to go!"
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Allan April