A new subdivision in Shoal Lake has some homeowners plugging their noses and singing the lues.
“You wouldn’t treat animals as bad as we’re being treated right now,” said Doug Susinski, who lives on the western outskirts of Shoal Lake and has had to stomach the smell of sewage in his home since a new subdivision was built two year ago.
“There is such a smell in the house you can hardly breathe.”
The new subdivision, which is about two kilometres from Susinski, relies on a pump to move collected sewage from the subdivision near Susinski’s home, where the sewage then becomes part of a gravity fed line to the pump-out station.
Susinski believes that because the sewage is sitting in holding tanks, that it is giving it more time to build up gas, which is being released into his home when the sewage is pumped from the new subdivision.
“The tanks are sitting there fermenting and when they open it up to pump it then all of that gas is going into the line because there is no venting out there at all. They are pumping the grey water into our system, but the gas is building up and pushing into our system because it’s not a proper setup,” Susinski said. “It’s coming into my house and going everywhere, and you can’t even go outside.”
Susinski said the smell is unbearable. He often washes his bedding three times a week to try to rid his sheets of the smell that he says penetrates everything.
“The gas is coming through our vents and into our house and it’s everywhere,” Susinski said. “It smells like sewer gas. It’s not livable right now. It’s not right.”
For his part, Shoal Lake Mayor Don Yanick said fixing the problem is a priority for the town.
Twice a plumber has checked into Susinski’s home to ensure there is no broken pipes and Yanick said council is waiting to hear back from what the last visit uncovered, if anything.
The town has also constructed a chimney stack on the line, in an attempt to de-gass some of the sewage.
“We’ve set up a chimney at the manhole where the low pressure meets the gravity flow,” Yanick. “It’s temporary right now to see how successful it is, but if it works we’ll be putting in a permanent one with a carbon filter on it so that it gets rid of the smell.”
Yanick said enzymes, that eat the gas and subsequent odor, are also being used in the holding tanks as a way to reduce the smell.
“We’re hoping the combination of the two solves the problem,” Yanick said.