Odour Update November 2023

Another month, another odour update and there is a lot of activity happening that is moving us forward! The City of Calgary hosted information sessions about the S.E. odour investigation back in October and we received lots of great comments and questions from attendees. What was clear to me as I listened in is that Calgarians are very passionate on this topic and want to stay as informed as possible on everything that is happening.

As not everyone was able to attend these sessions, I want to reshare some of the highlights of what is being worked on by The City of Calgary. We have heard from some residents that The City is not accepting responsibility on odours and not taking any actions to remedy the situation.  I want you to know that I am taking your concerns very seriously and I know that the City project managers are as well. We want you to hold us accountable on this as we work on these long-term and short-term mitigations.

The investigation confirmed multiple odour sources

Jacobs Engineering undertook extensive work looking at all existing 311 data, weather conditions, wind patterns, air sampling, lab testing, computer modelling and more during the investigation. Through this scientific analysis, it confirms there are multiple odour sources at play – which can be contributing at the same time or at different times.

I know this doesn’t seem like big news, but having this verified scientifically by a third-party is a necessary step in confirming the problem so we can find the right solutions. While the source might seem obvious to some, we have had feedback from neighbouring communities that points to multiple different sources, either acting together or at different times. This aligns with the results of the investigation as well.

10 different recommendations are being worked on as we speak

The investigation brought forth several potential odour-reducing recommendations for The City to look into. Some actions have already been completed earlier this year such as moving stockpiled biosolids less frequently and a complete replacement of the biofilter material at the composting facility. Other projects are currently in the works to determine feasibility, timelines, and other logistics.

Development of a permanent odour monitoring system

This is the recommendation that I am most excited for – permanent odour-compound monitoring sensors that will work in real-time to track smells. We know odours can be fleeting – and they can often disappear before they can be investigated. Having a permanent system in place in the area will really help validate all the 311 reports you have been making and help The City to better track and work on targeted solutions.

When will this system be in place? Well, it’s still in the early planning phases. This is very sophisticated technology that isn’t used that often. As much as we want to get it done quickly, we must make sure it is done right and will give us the information that we need. Once I hear more on the project, I will be sure to create another odour update blog post and communicate out through our usual channels.

If you haven’t had a chance to deep dive into the investigation results, please head over to calgary.ca/odours to read up on the findings, see the presentation and learn about all the recommendations in depth.

Please continue to fill in the online service request when you encounter an odour problem in your area.

Previous blog posts:

Odour Update September 2023
Odour Update August 2023
Odour Update May 2023
Odour Update February 2023
SE Smells



  • Evan Spencer
    published this page in Blog 2023-11-20 11:44:02 -0700