After fielding complaints from several residents about the smell of the wastewater treatment plant, the City of Saline issued a press release to assure residents the city is working to improve the situation.
Circle Court resident Bonnie Armbruster has called and emailed city staff and council members, urging action to correct the problem. Circle Court, located off Crestwood Drive, isn’t far from the sewage plant, which is located off Monroe Street. Wednesday night the odor was particularly bad, Armbruster said. She said the plant emitted a “chemical burning ordor” that made her feel like her nostrils were burning. She said she had to turn her furnace off because it was bringing the odor into her home.
“I pay full taxes on my home and can't even enjoy it. When are the city powers going to care enough to fix this or give me fair market value for my home?” Armbruster asked.
The problem has plagued her neighborhood for years, but it’s gotten especially over the last 13 months. In fact, the odor can sometimes be detected while walking downtown.
In a press release issued Friday, City Manager Todd Campbell noted that the city is in the middle of a $3.6 million project to improve the plant. While the project wasn’t designed specifically for the odor issue, city officials hope to see improvement. Those evaluations could lead to corrective measures this winter.
Campbell said the wastewater treatment plant workers are evaluating equipment to see if there are any repairs that can reduce odor.
Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent Bob Scull previously told council that along with the main project, workers are taking smaller, inexpensive steps to reduce the odor.
Campbell noted that sewage plants will always create some odor.
“Because of the specific function that the (plant) performs every day, there will always be some level of odor being generated by the plant; our charge is to minimize the odor as much as possible,” Campbell said. “Staff continues to diligently work towards reducing the odors coming from the (plant). We believe that the plant improvements, combined with the refurbishing of the odor scrubbers will help in greatly reducing the current odor levels originating from the plant.”
City residents with questions or concerns are invited to contact city officials: