April 24, 2014 11:59AM
By Jesse Buchanan
SOUTHINGTON — Sewage plant officials say an odor problem this summer won’t return next year.
Residents near the treatment plant on Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike complained of bad smells beginning in late June. At the time, officials thought it was related to the early heat wave but later discovered it was caused by a chemical used to remove phosphorus.
Waste sludge containing polyaluminum chloride mixed with other sludge, triggering a chemical and biological reaction that produced the odor.
“The biology wasn’t happy with it,” said John DeGoia, water pollution control superintendent.
The odor is avoided by keeping different types of sludge separate, according to DeGoia. The problem was corrected about a month ago.
The plant only uses chemicals to remove phosphorous during the warmer months, DeGoia said. Federal Clean Water Act standards require the reduction of phosphorous levels in the water discharged by sewer plants.
The smell had been released at night when sludge is blended. Plant officials didn’t notice until residents called in the problem, DeGoia said.
Art Secondo, Southington Chamber of Commerce president, said he didn’t receive any complaints from area businesses but did get a whiff of the sewer plant while umpiring softball games at Recreation Park this summer.
He said it’s not the first time there’s been a foul odor from the plant and didn’t think much of it.