Neighbors Tour Sewage Treatment Plant After Complaining About The Smell

By: Parrish Alleman Email
By: Parrish Alleman Email

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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Smelly sewage plants are a necessary evil, but no one wants to live near one. A group of people in southeast Wichita were tired of holding their breath and decided to do something about it.

City leaders say at a wastewater treatment plant is always going to smell, that's never going to go away. But last summer they started getting a lot of complaints so they decided to see if there was anything they could do to make that smell a little less strong.

Even though her neighborhood is more than 2 miles away, Connie Klassen says she can still smell the sewage treatment plant.

“Who wants to go out in their back yard when it smells this bad,” Klassen said.

Last summer people who live nearby started complaining to their council member and the treatment facility itself.

“Saying that it was just so bad and people couldn't open their windows,” Wichit City Council member James Clendenin said./

“We like to hear from our neighbors. When you're out here every day working and you're this close to it, you may not realize there's a problem that's affecting people. So when we hear from them we consider that a benefit, it helps us,” Assistant Director of Public Works and Utilities Don Henry said.

Henry says they took a look at their operation and made a few changes to try to keep the odor to a minimum.

Then, they invited all the people who live nearby to come out for a special tour.

"We wanted to invite them out today to look at those improvements and find out from them whether they've made a difference or not,” Henry said.

Connie Klassen says she's impressed.

“I believe it's a lot better,” Klassen said.

The city says they’re not done. They have even more improvements planned, including bringing in a new filter system that should help control odor even more.

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