NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

July 19, 2013

Town to tackle sewer odor on Centennial St.

For years the residents on Centennial Street have had to deal with a foul odor that sometimes comes from the sewer pump station located on the road. The problem is worse in the summer, when the weather’s hot and residents open their windows.

When complaints again came this year, town officials went to visit. They were impressed with the magnitude of the problem.

In the past, the odor has been blamed on many things. First, it was the amount of garlic used in a local food processing plant, and ineffective charcoal filters have also been named as the culprit. Although remedies for those issues have been formulated, the smell continues.

This summer, after being appalled by the odor, Town Manager Bill Manzi called Acting Sewer Department Superintendent Phillippe Maltais to diagnosis the problem. According to Manzi, this time excess water is the pump is causing the problem.

Manzi next asked Maltais to develop a plan to stop the smell, something all three selectmen agree is necessary. The smell, they said, is so bad it’s hard to imagine people enjoying their dinners when the pump station is expelling the odor.

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Selectmen gave the OK for the Water Department to purchase about $800 in billing software in order to show water usage history on future town water bills.

A practice used by electric companies for years, the usage tables will allow residents to compare from quarter to quarter how much water they’re using. The practice not only helps consumers conserve water, but also alerts them when problems could be arising, like a leak somewhere in the system.

In recent years, water department personnel have been able to catch residential leaks and stop them when meter readings show an large increase in the amount of water used by a family.

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Angeljean Chiaramida covers Seabrook for the Daily News. She can be reached at achiaramida@newburyportnews.com or at 978-462-6666, ext. 3271.

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