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Sarasota Thursday, Jul. 14, 2011 10 years ago

Sewage-treatment smell riles Palmer Ranch

by: Robin Roy City Editor

Palmer Ranch residents living near a county wastewater-treatment facility have been complaining for years about the smell coming from the plant — a rank, raw sewage odor that occasionally wafts through the air.

“They complained bitterly,” said Howard Pascoe, vice president of the Deer Creek Homeowners Association.
The county had been leasing a chemical scrubber to reduce the hydrogen-sulfide gas emissions from the McIntosh Road plant, but that wasn’t working well.

So, county officials decided to replace the scrubbing system. The new system, however, was even worse.
“We don’t know why (it was replaced), but it’s not working,” said Dave Cash, executive director of operations and maintenance.

Cash inherited the problem. A former county employee initiated the purchase of the new system, he said.
It’s believed the employee did so to save money, because he installed what’s called a mulch-bed system; Cash calls that a low-level treatment process.

And that is what really bothers Arielle resident Dave Lewis, who used to work with large industrial projects.

“When someone says they took out a system that worked,” he said, “and put in a system that doesn’t, I say, ‘Wait a minute.’”

Within the next two months, the county expects to lease a new chemical scrubber and put it into operation. That new system is expected to eliminate the odor.

The county will be gathering bids for it soon; Cash said the lease cost is typically between $2,200 and $3,000 per month.

“We know we have to spend the money to correct the problem,” said Cash. “We want to eliminate this.

Contact Robin Roy at [email protected].


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