Sani-dump station stays shut

Summerland will not operate a sani-dump station for recreation vehicle operators to dump their sewage.

Summerland will not operate a sani-dump station for recreation vehicle operators to dump their sewage.

In previous years, a dump site had been in place at Peach Orchard Beach and later at a pullout area along Highway 97 near Trout Creek.

The dump station was shut down suddenly near the end of last summer as it had put the municipal sewage system at risk.

“The location coupled with heavy usage by through tourists and illegal dumping have caused considerable problems in the plant,” said Devon van der Meulen, deputy director of engineering and public works for the municipality.

The deodorizers and other chemicals used to treat the wastes in the tank jeopardize the sewer system, he said.

He added that Summerland is too small to handle the volume of waste being dumped at the station.

“Other municipalities who do have sani-dumps generally have sewage volumes multiple times what we see in Summerland and are therefore able to handle emulsifiers and other unwanted chemicals illegally dumped through the sheer volume of sewage with which it is diluted,” he said.

Mayor Janice Perrino said the latest location for the dump station, at the Trout Creek pullout, was convenient and as a result, travelers passing through the area would stop to use it.

The cost of the system, at between $25,000 and $100,000, was too expensive for the municipality, she said.

“It is our taxpayers who would have to pay the extra money to make it happen,” she said. “To ask our taxpayers to fund the entire cost of this is unreasonable.”

The nearest sani-dump site is in Penticton, at the Canadian Tire facility.

Perrino said the store is able to cope with the dumping of wastes and the Penticton sewer system can manage the volume.