Residents cry foul over smell from treatment plant

-A A +A
By Kenny Colston


Residents of one Oldham County subdivision are having trouble stopping and smelling the roses every day due to smells from a nearby sewer plant, they said.

Scott Pullen, a resident of the Cardinal Harbour subdivision, said the nearby Ohio River wastewater treatment plant, operated by the Oldham County Environmental Authority (OCEA), has made life pretty terrible for fellow residents.

“It’s a tremendous sewer smell,” Pullen said. “It’s so horrible you have to roll the windows up when driving through the neighborhood. ”

According to Pullen, the plant had been releasing the stronger than usual smells for several months, taking a minor annoyance and amplifying it for residents.

“We can’t live like this,” Pullen said. “The vapor is so bad, you walk outside your house and you gag and throw up.”

Pullen said residents have had many meetings with OCEA about the issue of smells emitting from the plant, but aren’t happy with the results.

“It’s looking so bad, it’s terrible,” he said. “We’re up in arms. We don’t know what to do and they are talking about expanding (the plant) more and more.”

Vickie Miller, a spokeswoman for OCEA, acknowledged the company was aware of the issues surrounding the plant and Cardinal Harbour residents. She said the increase foul smell came from needed maintenance that a strong winter prevented.

“The Ohio River wastewater treatment plant is undergoing regular maintenance now that weather conditions permit,” she said. “Cold weather prevented this maintenance from occurring until now which caused the odor intensity and prolonged the length of time to fix the problem. Although the odor is present and easily detected through smell there is no health hazard.”

Miller also said the smells aren’t coming from an over-capacity plant or leaks from the plant. In order to contain the sewage smells in the future, Miller said OCEA is considering improvements to the plant, but no firm plans are set.

“This wastewater treatment plant is well under capacity and there is no evidence of leaks,” she said. “The Oldham County Environmental Authority is considering a capital project to improve the plant. This capital project will both lessen the odors from the plant when similar maintenance is performed in the future as well as reduce the frequency for that maintenance.” javascript:void(0)

Miller said maintenance on the plant should reduce the smell soon, if not already.

But Pullen and his fellow residents are skeptical the problem will be solved by routine maintenance. Pullen said residents want to prevent any more development in the region until the smelly situation is permanently fixed because each time OCEA tells residents the problem will be fixed it arises again.

“They need to relocate the plant,” Pullen said. “We don’t want any more building until this is solved.”

Email us about this story at editor@oldhamera.com.