UPDATE: Making Marietta Smell A Little Better

By: Brittany Lowe Email
By: Brittany Lowe Email

June 22, 2012

Marietta's Wastewater Treatment plant gets a lot of slack for the smell its putting off, often times taking a toll on nearby businesses.

After a two week trial of a chemical called VS-456, the city agrees the smell is worth the cost.

$75,000 will cover the cost of the chemical, funded by an insurance settlement from 2010.

The plant is currently undergoing mass-reconstruction, hoping to fix the smelly problem and become more efficient.

Until construction is finished, it's either the chemical or the smell.
They say it worked! The Marietta Waste Water Treatment plant gets good feedback from surrounding businesses and neighborhoods after using a new chemical for a trial period.

The chemical product was used for a two week trial period to see if it would help the smell.

While official results aren't back yet, they've only received good news.

From here, the plant superintendent says they're waiting on the final report then the big question lies with the city budget.

Marietta Waste Water Treatment Plant has received many calls in about the awful smell after a pipe burst in 2010.

It's influencing businesses, residents, and even tourist.

"It's a little bit of an overwhelming for them to be coming right off the interstate and smell that as soon as the walk into the building," explains director of marketing and PR at Marietta Visitors Bureau, Lyndsey Offenberger.

The smell coming from the Marietta Waste water Treatment Plant is stopping some people right in their tracks.
Plant operators say the complaints just keep coming.

"Since then we haven't been able to provide the minimum standard of treatment that we had so the odor is much worse and then when you get even warmer weather it tends to get even a more serious of an odor," explains the Superintendent of the Treatment Plant, Steve Elliot.

The unpleasant smell comes from the de-watering process of the sludge. Plant officials say they have taken all operational measure possible to lessen the odor, even starting a multi-million dollar renovation project.

"The odor is not going to go away until we do our construction renovations here at the plant," says Elliot.

But those renovations aren't expected to be done until 2014 so in the mean time the City and plant say they have been working to find a chemical option.

Now they have found a chemical, VX-456 that has proven successful at four other similar plants.

Marietta City counsel voted for a trial run.

"Based upon a trial we can predict what the cost are per year or per week or per month or however they want it, right now we don't know, plus we want to evaluate the chemical and make sure it works," explains Elliot.

Officials say that trial run will cost nearly five-thousand dollars. That money comes from the water and sewer user fee. If it works it could cost a roughly 70-thousand dollars to use per year.

Surrounding community members and businesses say... they just hope it makes a difference.

"We're very excited about this opportunity for a trial run and we hope it works because it would really add a benefit for us at our tourism information center," says Offenberger.

The trial date is set to start May 23.

Elliot says they did receive money from insurance for the 2010 problems and if the chemical is approved they may dip into that for funding as well.

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