Foul odor may be coming from sewer main

April 25, 1997


Staff Writer

The bad odor Hagerstown residents have detected the last few months might be gases leaking from a major collection pipe for untreated sewage, Mayor Steven T. Sager said Thursday.

A crew will use a television camera in May to inspect the line, which runs underneath the old Municipal Electric Light Plant (MELP), said Water Pollution Control Department Manager Rick Thomas.

Sager got the idea from remarks made by neighbors at a Wednesday night meeting concerning odor complaints.

Neighbors in the area of Radcliffe and Cannon avenues have complained for several months of odors they suspected came from 1st Urban Fiber's paper recycling plant or the city's pellet plant, which produces fertilizer pellets from sewage.


MELP is across Eastern Boulevard from 1st Urban.

One person said the odor seemed to be coming from a storm drain, Sager said. At times people have complained of odors from the pellet plant when the wind wasn't blowing in the right direction for that to be right.

Sager said it's possible the sewage line underneath MELP was cracked during construction of 1st Urban's plant.

The 54-inch pipe is made of concrete and brick and carries about 80 percent of the city's sewage to the treatment plant off Frederick Street, Thomas said.

Crews at the pellet plant and 1st Urban's plant already have taken steps to improve odor problems at those plants, Sager said.

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