Residents raise stink over sewage plant odor

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A processing plant in Plymouth that handles human waste is causing quite a stink among residents. For years, this has been a growing issue. The Department of Environmental Protection held a final meeting in Augusta on Tuesday to listen to comments about the proposal. Both parties recognize there is an odor, but there has been no national standard for how to classify odors.

Some homeowners complain the stench coming from the plant is unbearable. And disagree with the departments staff who used a 5-point odor scale to test the smell. The test is constructed by experts who smell various concentrations of bottles with the chemical n-butanol. Then they compare the smell of the bottles to the air in a 5-point scale.

One homeowner in attendance said this has been an on-going problem for two decades, but the odor has gotten worse in the last two years.

"You can't hold it in a jar, but if I could bring in a dirty diaper and set it on your desk and let you smell it for hours it might give you kinda of a sense of what we smell every day."

Soil Prep officials said they have been working on finding a solution. Consultant for Soil Prep, Inc., Ted Johnston said it's taken them two years to get the permits needed to get a biogasification line to reduce the odor.

"It's kinda like a giant oven and it bakes the material it doesn't burn it, it doesn't incinerate, it bakes it. It removes the moisture and the moisture is what has the odors."


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