Odour Control

Odour Control

Our target is to minimize odours. If you smell something you believe is related to an RDN facility, we encourage you to report it as soon as you can so we can investigate the cause and potentially relieve the odour. Investigations look at wind direction, plant activities and other events in the community.

What Causes Odour?

Most odours from wastewater treatment are caused by the breakdown of partially digested food. The most of the unpleasant odours are from food containing nitrogen or sulphur. For example, proteins produce particularly unpleasant odours since all proteins contain nitrogen and some also contain sulphur. In contrast, carbohydrates and fats do not contain nitrogen, but some contain sulphur.

What Is Being Done To Control Odour?

The following activities reduce or eliminate odours from FCPCC:
  • Ultraviolet light purifies air from the trickling filter
  • Ferrous chloride reduces the release of hydrogen sulphide gas
  • Air from grit tanks, solids contact tanks, biosolids digestion, and biosolids dewatering is captured and treated with biological and chemical scrubbers and bio-filters.
The following activities reduce or eliminate odours from GNPCC:
  • Ferrous chloride reduces the release of hydrogen sulphide gas
  • Biofilters purify the process air
  • New odour controls are being added during the Secondary Treatment Upgrade Project.

Annual Events

Every year around March, herring spawn off the shores near French Creek. Roe wash up on nearby beaches and decompose into the summer. The decomposing eggs release hydrogen sulphide and winds can carry the odors towards the highway and FCPCC. Occasionally, odours detected around FCPCC are caused by herring roe.

View past stories from CTV News and CHEK News for more details.


Wastewater Services | 6300 Hammond Bay Road | Nanaimo, BC V9T 6N2 | E-mail: rcu@rdn.bc.ca
Telephone: 250-390-6560 (Nanaimo) 250-954-3792 (Oceanside) 1-877-607-4111 (Toll Free)
1-800-862-3429 (Emergency) | 250-390-1542 (Fax)

Report an Odour

Please report odours to:

French Creek Pollution
Control Centre call

Nanoose Bay Pollution
Control Centre call

Greater Nanaimo Pollution
Control Centre call

After hours call


FCPCC scrubbers
Biological scrubbers at FCPCC