It may be early summer before the City of Saline completes work that may provide residents some relief from the odor the waste water treatment plant periodically emits.
At the request of Councillor Dean Girbach, water superintendent Bob Scull provided Saline City Council with an update on the odor issue. Scull was at the meeting to answer any questions about the city’s latest payment to TetraTech, the company working on the $3.6 million plant improvement project.
“We’re still exploring our options. We haven’t got to the portion of the project that deals with odor abatement,” Scull told council.
New odor scrubbers are being installed in May.
Girbach had Scull confirm that as the project proceeds, there may be periods when the odor is more powerful than normal. Girbach advised City Manager Todd Campbell that the city should forewarn residents.
Councillor Janet Dillon said some people in the community say that the excessive odor is a byproduct of the city’s processing of sludge from area farms. She asked Scull to address the issue. Scull said that, for the most part, the city’s septic receiving station has been shut down for the last year.
Mayor Brian Marl added the city did not accept outside sludge for nearly a calendar year.
Scull said the plant is accepting sludge now, but at a reduced rate (less than 10,000 gallons a day).
City officials hope the $3.6 million project fixes the odor issue but the smell wasn’t actually part of the project’s scope. If the strong odor persists, the city may have to pay for a study.