Odor Irritates Neighborhood
The wastewater treatment plant near Scott Boulevard is making one neighborhood reek, and residents say the problem is just getting worse.
"You can't open your windows. You're constantly burning candles, you're constantly buying air freshener. It's just, it's just bad," said Columbia resident Diana Brotherton. She moved into the neighborhood last April, and she says she can't stand the stench living just down the road. The culprit is the hydrogen sulfide the wastewater treatment plant uses.
"There's an odor with wastewater no matter which plant you go to, there's always some kind of an odor that's not a pleasant odor, but you know, I mean hog farmers smell hogs," said Chief Plant Operator Steve Huebotter.
The smell wasn't a problem when the plant was built more than 20 years ago because there were fewer residents in the area. Since then, Columbia has expanded, forcing the plant to deal with more waste. The plant is trying to eliminate some of the odor by installing misting systems. The units give off another odor to mask some of the stench coming from the plant, but they aren't doing much to mask residents feelings.
"If a smell like this is going to continue, then I'm going to seriously consider moving, cause it's just that bad," Brotherton said.
Huebotter says an upgrade is not far off, however, more public funding is needed to install more effective odor control measures.