© — Photo by Dan MacEachern/The Telegram
Riverhead Wastewater Treatment Plant
The City of St. John's is aware of a foul odour over the weekend and again today that seems to be emanating from the downtown area and spreading for miles east and west.
But there doesn't seem to be any answers as to where it's coming from.
A city spokeswoman said the manager of St. John's sewage treatment plant at St. John's harbour smelled the odour herself on the weekend and set out to check out the plant's functioning.
However, she said, everything was functioning well at the plant. "It's definitely not coming from there," she said.
The spokeswoman said a further check today with the city's environmental services staff couldn't find any breaks in sewer pipes that could cause such an odour. "So, it doesn't seem to be anything with the city that has caused it," she said.
The harbour does have a unique odour of its own, she said, and the foggy, damp conditions on the weekend could have contributed to it spreading, but that doesn't seem to explain the strong foul odour many people in the city have described as being like raw sewage.
On the weekend, two of the largest cruise ships to ever visit the city were in port around the same time the odour was at its peak.
The spokeswoman checked into how their sewage tanks are emptied and told The Telegram, she was assured they were pumped out by Crosbie Industrial Services trucks after arriving in port.
She said the city has actually made strides in cleaning up St. John's Harbour and its treatment plant has been functioning so well in recent weeks, the city will likely soon provide a public update on the project's overall progress.
In the meantime, city officials are interested in finding the source of the foul odour, but have no idea where it's coming from.