The Town of Morinville launched an investigation after residents reported an unusual smell in the air.
On Friday morning (Jun.8), some concerned citizens contacted the town after noticing a “perm-like” odour in the Notre Dame area.
After discussing the matter with the Alberta Capital Region Wastewater Commission (ACRWC), the town determined that the ammonia-like odour was not related to wastewater infrastructure.
The town then pinpointed two possible sources of the unexpected smell – ammonia-based fertilizer used by farmers preparing their fields for spring seeding or organic gases released during excavation in Notre Dame. Crews are currently carrying out earthwork in the developing neighbourhood.
“When they go deeper into the soil, they may disturb some organic material that may release some gases into the air,” said Claude Valcourt, director of public works for the town. “But probably the main cause would be an ammonia-based type fertilizer. That's what we suspect.”
The town expects the smell, which isn’t believed to be harmful to human health, to dissipate in the next day or two.
"If it's not gone then we'll hear about it again and go back to the drawing table and find out what else might be causing it," Valcourt said.