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'Odor scrubber' to be installed at wastewater treatment plant

Project comes after Berkeley County Public Service Sewer District tried less exepensive options

September 08, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com
  • An "odor scrubber" will be installed at Berkeley County Public Service Sewer District's wastewater treatment plant along Scrabble Road.
By Matthew Umstead, Staff Writer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — An "odor scrubber" will be installed at Berkeley County Public Service Sewer District's wastewater treatment plant along Scrabble Road as part an ongoing effort to remove a persistent stench.

Sewer district General Manager Curtis B. Keller said this week that he hopes to have the equipment installed where the sewage flows into the plant facility by this fall.

The project, which could cost as much as $10,000 or more, comes after the sewer district tried less expensive options, including chemicals, to try to mitigate the odor, Keller said.

The chemicals helped, but a septic-like odor remains, according to Keller and nearby residents.   

Berkeley County Council President Bill Stubblefield said Wednesday that the odor seems to be persistent when he drives past the treatment plant, which is near his home.

"On some days it's very penetrating," Stubblefield said of the smell.

The plant was built at a sharp turn in Scrabble Road and every passing motorist has to slow down to about 15 mph, which ensures they get "a good whiff," resident David Klinger said in an email to The Herald-Mail.

The odor is caused by low-flow conditions in the sewer lines that connect to the plant, according to Keller. A lack of flow, which is needed to keep waste continuously moving to the plant to be treated, leads to bacteria-producing odor, Keller said.

The treatment plant was built about 3 1/2 years ago and was designed to absorb future development in the northeastern area of Berkeley County.

The addition of customers to the system is expected to eventually eliminate the need for the scrubber, according to Keller.

Keller said the sewer district is exploring options to reduce the cost of the project, but the scrubber itself still is relatively expensive.

 

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