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We've invested over $10 million in odour reduction at Gold Bar

We're working to continue to reduce odour emissions from the plant, improve monitoring and report data in a preferred format for the community.

Investing in odour reduction at Gold Bar

With over $10 million invested in odour reduction, see the results from our investments and future odour projects.

Learn more

What causes odours at Gold Bar 

Odour at Gold Bar are a natural part of the treatment process; we continue to meet air quality objectives. 

About odours

Gold Bar air quality monitoring reports

View our monthly air quality fenceline monitoring reports and see how annual odour levels have decreased over time.

View our reports

​Odour reduction at Gold Bar

$10 million in odour mitigation projects has been completed to date at the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) and has significantly helped reduce odour emissions. Some projects include:

  • Sealed enhanced primary treatment clarifiers
  • Upgraded ventilation and odour collection
  • Scrubber upgrades

Results from investments

Our investments are showing results, and there has been a significant reduction in odours from 2017 to 2018. At the intake part of the plant, in particular, H2S readings are 80% lower than in the previous year.

  • 72% of spot samples taken in 2018 show H2S levels of 0 ppb
  • 22 of 1,112 samples in 2018 show results above 10 ppb: the threshold for smelling odour (2% vs 9% in 2017)

​Future odour reduction

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 that gives stakeholders the information they need to assure the air quality is safe for health and recreation.

Additional odour projects

We'll be carrying out several projects that will further reduce odours coming from Gold Bar WWTP, while also meeting current and future odour level standards:

  • Odour Monitoring System: adding weather and air quality monitoring stations
  • Enhanced Primary Treatment (EPT) Scrubber Upgrades: redesign of the current EPT Scrubber and adding an additional scrubber, if needed, for revised capacity and better performance
  • Grit and Screen Buildings Ventilation Upgrades: includes upgrading ventilation and adding odour control in the headworks building
  • Seal Fermenter Roofs: sealing fermenter roofs to prevent escaping odour emissions

​Give us feedback: new air monitoring station

In coordination with Alberta Environment and Parks, EPCOR is planning to install a new continuous monitoring station between the Gold Bar WWTP and the nearest receptors (homes along 109A Avenue).

We want to hear from you! Where do you think we should install this new air monitoring station?

Let's Talk

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.

Phone: (780) 412-3599
Email: Goldbarprojects@epcor.com

 

Learn more about the other commitments
we've built into our long term plan.

Our commitments to you

What causes odours at Gold Bar

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.

Different H2S levels

Reference H2S level (parts per billion)​
​Threshold for human detection ​10
​AEP 1-hour air quality objective (average) ​10
​OH&S short term exposure limit (15 minutes) ​15,000
​OH&S 8-hour exposure limit ​10,000
​Immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) ​100,000

 

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.

 

Learn more about the other commitments
we've built into our long term plan.

Our commitments to you

Gold Bar air quality monitoring reports

SIA ambient air monitoring network

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.

Fence line monitoring

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.

2018/2019 monthly reporting

Data from the previous month is posted by the 15th of the following month.

Previous annual reporting

The chart below shows the average H2S levels from spot readings recorded annually at each station.

Fence Line H2S Monitoring

Average Parts Per Billion (ppb)