Odour Update September 2023

We are pleased to share that the S.E. Odour Investigation Project has been completed and the findings are now available at calgary.ca/odours.

S.E. Odours – info sessions

To share the results of the S.E. Odour Investigation with interested Calgarians, City staff will be hosting two online sessions for residents to attend:

Session #1
Tuesday, October 3
7p.m.- 8:30p.m.
Register Here

Session #2
Thursday, October 5
Noon – 1:30p.m.
Register Here

We encourage you to attend these sessions to hear from the subject matter experts in their areas and to have your questions answered directly from the source.

You can submit questions regarding this project or odour issues within your community ahead of the info sessions by sending them to [email protected]. If you are unable to attend the info sessions, you can still submit questions via email as well.

Questions received by email and during the info sessions will be compiled into an FAQ and added to calgary.ca/odours.

Major investigation findings

Since summer 2022, The City of Calgary and Jacobs Engineering have been conducting an investigation into odours in the S.E. area.

  • Phase 1 consisted of a preliminary analysis of existing data and site reviews to determine potential odours sources for investigation.
  • Phase 2 consisted of air monitoring sampling to create odour ‘fingerprints’. This step proved inconclusive, but the data collected can be used for the development of future modelling.
  • Phase 3 consisted of the development of a computer modelling to look at different scenarios for the frequency, intensity, duration, and location of odour impacts in the SE communities identified. The results were not consistent with what is being reported by Calgarians and more work is needed.
  • Phase 4 consisted of Jacobs developing a list of recommendations to minimize odour, which were evaluated for effectiveness, other impacts/consequences, and cost.

Overall, no single odour source was clearly identified as being the highest contributor to the odour issues in the S.E. It appears that multiple sources are contributing, either at the same or different times. Based on these results, The City is working to mitigate odours from multiple potential sources to lessen the impacts of odour on S.E. residents.

The City’s priority will initially focus on its own infrastructures where it has greater control to make a difference for odours in the area. The City will also look to improve monitoring of other potential sources and engage with outside parties to encourage minimizing of odours wherever possible.

You can find a detailed summary of the investigation highlights, findings and recommendations at calgary.ca/odours.

Latest operational updates

  • The lagoons modified their operating procedure for temporarily stockpiling dewatered biosolids earlier this spring. By moving stored material less frequently, it will allow the material to form a ‘crust’ and create fewer odours when it does need to be moved.
  • A complete replacement of the biofilter material at the composting facility was completed in June 2023. Replacement of the biofilter material is expected to be needed every 4-5 years. Planning for the next replacement will begin in early 2024 to mitigate supply chain issues and other logistical challenges to ensure replacement happens on time.
  • The Shepard landfill has limited commercial activity compared to other City landfill facilities. The City has and will continue to regularly review what types of waste are accepted, and review opportunities for further diversion of material to keep it out of the landfill.

311 reporting

We thank everyone who has taken the time to file an odour report. Please continue to fill in the online service request when you encounter an odour problem in your area.

  • Evan Spencer
    published this page in Blog 2023-09-25 16:21:59 -0600