By Associated Press - Tuesday, May 6, 2014

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Officials say they’re trying to limit sewage odors emanating from one Sioux City neighborhood, but factors beyond the city’s control can raise the stink level.

Following frequent complaints about the smell from residents in the Riverside neighborhood, the city’s Public Works Department in 2012 began injecting chemicals into a sewer line under the neighborhood that runs from North Sioux City to the Floyd Lift Station.

The move has produced mixed results and some different opinions from people who live near the lift station, the Sioux City Journal reported ( ).

“It’s been pretty bad, and sometimes you can’t even sit outside. Lately, I haven’t smelled anything,” said resident Dawn Mason.

Desiree McCaslen of the city’s Public Works Department said the chemicals have been effective, but factors such as weather are beyond the city’s control. Warm, windy, dry days let odors dissipate. Winter cold cools the sewage, slowing the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Calm, wet, humid days can lead to more odor.

The sewer line that runs through Riverside carries industrial waste from three major North Sioux City industries - baked goods, pet food and animal food supplements. McCaslen said odor complaints can be linked to discharge fluctuations from those industries and how they impact the city’s chemicals.

“It boils down to chemistry in the sewer,” she said.

The city spends about $200,000 annually on odor control measures for the sewer line. The city is evaluating whether chemical injections are needed for other major sewer lines.

McCaslen said the city will make chemical adjustments if necessary, but smell is a perceptive sense that can’t be measured.

“What one person thinks is a nuisance odor, to another person can be nauseous,” she said.


Information from: Sioux City Journal,

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