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We're working to continue to reduce odour emissions from the plant, improve monitoring and report data in a preferred format for the Gold Bar community.
With over $10 million invested in odour reduction, see the results from our investments and future odour projects.
Odour at Gold Bar are a natural part of the wastewater treatment process; we continue to meet air quality objectives.
View our monthly air quality fenceline monitoring reports and see how annual odour levels have decreased over time.
If you are concerned about odours near
the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant, contact us at
(780) 412-4500 and leave your contact information.
Our investments in odour management are showing results, and there has been a significant reduction in odours from 2017 to 2019. At the intake part of the plant, in particular, H2S readings are 80% lower than in the previous years of 2016, 2017, and 2018. Between the years of 2018 and 2019, H2S readings have remained flat.
At the Gold Bar WWTP, we're taking steps to ensure odour levels consistently meet current and future standards and are safe for health and recreation. When it comes to monitoring and reporting odours, we hope to achieve the following:
Additional, continuous air quality monitoring in a place closer to the fenceline;
Real time results that are available in a format that is useful for stakeholders; and
New regulatory monitoring and reporting for stakeholders to reference so they can confirm the air quality remains safe for health and recreation.
We'll be carrying out several projects that will further reduce odour impacts from Gold Bar WWTP, while also meeting current and future odour level standards:
In coordination with Alberta Environment and Parks, we're planning to install a new continuous monitoring station between the Gold Bar WWTP and the nearest receptors (homes along 109A Avenue). Join our
virtual open house to provide feedback on the design options for our
Air Quality Monitoring Station.
We believe in listening to and engaging stakeholders. Community input and involvement is an important part of our decision-making and we want to hear what you think about our initiatives.
Our commitments to you
Odours sometimes occur at Gold Bar and are a normal part of the treatment process due to the raw wastewater that flows through the plant. Most of these odours are related to hydrogen sulphide gas (H2S). H2S levels around Gold Bar can vary based on plant activities like maintenance work or from changes in water flow due to melting snow or rain. Most odours at Gold Bar come from the preliminary and primary treatment buildings, with some odour coming from the solid treatment buildings.
The safety of the public and our employees is always our number one priority. We are constantly monitoring air quality levels at Gold Bar to confirm our odour-control systems are working properly.
EPCOR actively measures H2S levels at the plant. We're also members of the Strathcona Industrial Association (SIA), which does environmental monitoring across the region, including ambient air quality. While there are occasional times that H2S levels at the plant exceed
Alberta Ambient Air Quality Objectives (such as during equipment maintenance), our H2S levels are much lower than those that can bring health concerns outlined in OH&S legislation.
If the H2S levels ever exceed the OH&S legislation limits, EPCOR will let you know of any concerns and any precautions you should take. One of the ways we will notify you is our through our
water outages and alerts page. Any
alarms you hear at the Gold Bar plant are specific to onsite workers and don't apply to nearby communities.
As mentioned, EPCOR is a member of the Strathcona Industrial Association (SIA) Ambient Air Monitoring Network. The SIA conducts environmental monitoring across the East Edmonton and Strathcona County region. Their monitoring assesses ambient air quality. There are two monitoring stations near the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant.
EPCOR consistently monitors 8 locations around the Gold Bar plant fenceline for H2S levels (numbered). The readings at these stations are spot readings which may only exist for a moment in time, so these results are not compared to standards that are quantified in 1-hour, 8-hour or 24-hour averages.
Data from the previous month is posted by the 15th of the following month.
The chart below shows the average H2S levels from spot readings recorded annually at each station.
The Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) is the primary Act in Alberta through which regulatory requirements for air, water, land, and biodiversity are managed.
The Act supports and promotes the protection, enhancement and wise use of the environment by designating proposed activities for which an approval or registration is required.
EPCOR Water Services Inc. has an EPEA approval for operating and maintaining the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant (GBWWTP). EPEA approval holders are responsible for monitoring and reporting air quality as per the Air Monitoring Directive (AMD).
The AMD sets out the Provincial requirements for monitoring and reporting air quality. The AMD requires that:
EPCOR fulfills these requirements through monitoring and reporting completed by the Strathcona Industrial Association (SIA) on our behalf.
The Strathcona Industrial Association (SIA) is a multi-stakeholder environmental monitoring network. The SIA conducts air, water, and land monitoring in the Strathcona Industrial area. EPCOR is a member of the SIA since 1999. The Gold Bar Air Monitoring Station is managed by the SIA. It monitors air quality at the Gold Bar Water Treatment Plant, measuring Hydrogen Sulphide, Sulphur Dioxide, Oxides of Nitrogen, along with wind speed, direction, and temperature. SIA stations are regularly audited by Alberta Environment and Parks.
Find out more about the SIA