Municipal District of Bonnyville Council has unanimously approved the closure of all M.D.-operated sewage treatment facilities to outside septage haulers.
This closure is scheduled to go into effect on August 1. The choice to shut down the sewage treatment facilities was made because of the excessive amount of sludge build-up in the primary receiving cell.
The sludge was moving to other cells in the system causing problems. The collection of the sludge was caused by waste being trucked into the facility on a regular basis.
The Ardmore Lagoons were not intended to handle sewage from the entire population of the M.D. or commercial/industrial businesses.
Normally the de-sludging wouldn’t be required for another 10 to 15 years but the lagoon needed the operation in 2019 and in 2021 after the volume of the sludge was causing operational issues and the treatment process was being affected.
The price tag to have a contractor de-sludge the cells again this year is estimated at $50,000, which was not in the 2022 Operational Budget.
This de-sludging will not act as a permanent solution as the facility would need upgrades costing between $3 million to $5 million to remain open to accept outside waste and achieve proper treatment of the wastewater.
The M.D. say they are working with the Town of Bonnyville and City of Cold Lake to get the facilities accepting rural septage.