2019-08-07

‘Murky’ mystery in Lunenburg

by Keith Corcoran

  • <p>FILE PHOTO</p><p>Lunenburg Mayor Rachel Bailey is &#8220;not confident that we&#8217;ll be able to definitely say what it was and therefore where it may have come from.&#8221;</p>

It remains a "murky" mystery as to what the unidentified white-coloured substance was that made its way into Lunenburg's Starr Street Wastewater Treatment Plant last month.

The town's mayor isn't convinced a determination is on the horizon as to what it was, nor how it made its way into the facility.

Nothing firm came from lab testing after Engineering Department officials sent samples away, Rachel Bailey told LighthouseNOW. The investigation continues.

"They still have samples preserved to send further should we have a way to go with that but [we're] truly not confident that we'll be able to definitely say what it was and therefore where it may have come from."

One thing made clear was the "white, murky substance," as public works described it, wasn't generated from the plant and arrived in the wastewater collection system "from an unknown external source."

The town later said the material "likely from a commercial or industrial source due to the volume."

The matter was also visible in the area of Fisherman's Wharf and at the Lunenburg Harbour boat launch.

It lasted "a while" before dissipating, Bailey said, and it hasn't re-appeared.

The material did temporarily impact the functioning of the wastewater plant. Equipment got "coated" by the substance and it caused the ultraviolet disinfection technology to get "cloudy," Bailey said.

Officials had to conduct extra flushing of the equipment to get it back up to snuff.

Lunenburg recently launched a public awareness campaign concerning the wastewater system.

The town advised there are materials unsafe for household plumbing, public sewers that service the community, and the ocean.

"Please note that wastewater is produced when you flush the toilet, prepare food, wash dishes and clothes, and shower – this is what the system is designed to treat," the town said in an online social media post.

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