Department of Environment unable to locate source of oil-like smell

Colin Chisholm
Published on January 9, 2017

Readers Haven has moved to a new location on Gerrish Street after the business owner said she was worried the unknown odour could contaminate her books.

©Colin Chisholm

WINDSOR, N.S. - Krista Higdon, a media relation’s representative with the Nova Scotia Department of Environment said an inspection of 40 Water Street was completed with no source of contamination found.

“The property owner was advised to hire an environmental consultant,” Higdon said in an email.

David Hunter, building manager of the Avonian Place commercial building at 40 Water Street said a consultant is being brought in.

“We want to get to the end of this,” Hunter said. “They’ll be here probably as soon as they possibly can.”

“The (Department of Environment) and fire department didn’t find any explosive (substance) or anything like that, they couldn’t find the source,” Hunter said. “It’s an unfortunate situation, but you have to follow the procedure that is laid out.”

Hunter said he’s personally detected the unknown odour at 40 Water Street and other places in Windsor, including King Street.

“I got a (message) about two other locations in downtown Windsor, (not this building) that were experiencing the same odour,” he said. “When I went home, maybe I’m paranoid or something, but I smelled it there too.”

Hunter said he’s convinced whatever is causing the smell is not furnace oil or something similar.

“It’s puzzled me, it really has,” he said. “There definitely was an odour but they couldn’t find the source.”

Reader’s Haven, which was formerly located at 40 Water Street, has moved to a new location on Gerrish Street.

Wendy Geddes, owner of the used bookstore, said she moved in order to prevent her stock of books from being contaminated from the smell.

“The books were starting to pick up the odour, whatever it is, in the building down there,” Geddes said. “I couldn’t have all of my books ruined, that’s $85,000 worth of stock.”

Geddes said she didn’t detect the odour from the new building she’s located at, 215 Gerrish Street.

She’s hoping the new store will be open by Jan. 16.

All other businesses at 40 Water Street are open for business as usual.

The Windsor Fire Department was called to a business complex on Water Street on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017 to investigate a complaint of heavy odours.

UPDATE - Windsor chief administrative officer Louis Coutinho said the town isn't doing an investigation into the matter currently.

"We have done our due diligence by checking the sewer lines and sewage treatment plant for any residues and smells but that is as far as we will go at this stage until we hear if there are other issues at said property," Coutinho said in an email.

Coutinho added that they'll look into other complaints if they come in to determine their validity.