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Expect Lower Water Street stink to linger as wastewater woes continue

It will likely be weeks before the Halifax wastewater facility is back online.

It will likely be weeks before the Halifax wastewater facility is back online.

A power outage in the early morning of Jan. 14 started the problem.

“The backup generator system did kick in as designed and it ran for a while, but there was an interruption in the backup system,” said James Campbell, communications manager at Harbour Solutions.

One of the generators cut out and the wastewater flowed into the machinery, causing all sorts of problems. A report on the shutdown was delivered to city council at its meeting Tuesday night, but the staff at Harbour Solutions still don’t know why the generator shut down. They also won’t know how extensive the damage is, until all the wastewater is pumped out of the building and staff can get to the machinery.

“There might be some odour associated with that from the pump trucks in the area,” he said.

The stink along Lower Water Street might continue until the weekend when it’s expected the last of the wastewater will be removed.

At this point Campbell said it’s impossible to tell the extent of the damage, but predicted it will take at least a few weeks before everything is repaired.

“It’s a lengthy process to figure out what’s going on and it’s a complicated system and there are a lot of things to uncover before we can proceed with repairing it,” he said.

Because of insurance and a three-year warranty that just kicked in about a month ago, the cost of the repairs shouldn’t be too bad.

“The cost is difficult to determine,” Campbell said.

Meanwhile, 82,000 cubic metres of wastewater is pumping into the harbour everyday.

“The objective now is to get it back online as quickly as possible.”

 
 
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