North Salt Lake Issues Notice Of Violation Against Sewer District Over Bad Odor
May 11, 2020, 10:53 PM | Updated: Sep 5, 2022, 11:31 pm
DAVIS COUNTY, Utah — City officials issued a notice of violation against a North Salt Lake sewer district that operates a nearby treatment plant over a bad odor that has been lingering since last fall.
According to North Salt Lake city manager Ken Leetham, the move was aimed at forcing a resolution with the South Davis Sewer District.
“It’s very frustrating, and it really is an issue that no resident should have to live with, and I know the sewer district feels the same way,” Leetham said.
Leetham said the city had fielded numerous complaints — with some coming in the past several days — over the odors that had generally presented east of Legacy Parkway, and west of Redwood Road, north of Center Street.
He said the notice of violation issued on Monday gave the city the potential to assess fines of $100 per day.
“We hope it doesn’t get to that point, and the sewer district has given us their commitment that they’re going to get it resolved,” Leetham said. “My expectation is that it will be resolved and it has a solution, we just don’t know what that solution is yet.”
Neighbors in North Salt Lake say they’ve been plagued for months with a bad odor. Tonight, the city and the local sewer district have elevated urgency to get to the bottom of it. Story in minutes @KSL5TV #KSLTV #Utah pic.twitter.com/DJTx5kSzDk
— Andrew Adams (@AndrewAdamsKSL) May 12, 2020
South Davis Sewer District general manager Dal Wayment said the agency had already spent in excess of $100,000 on the problems surrounding its south plant, and it could take tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars more to isolate and fix the issues believed to be contributing to the smell.
“The cost isn’t the issue,” Wayment said. “This is a direct impact on people’s lives. This is a real quality of life issue. The people have been very patient. I’m surprised they haven’t been down here with torches and pitchforks, and so we need to get it solved and we want to get it solved, so we will spend what it takes.”
Wayment said he believed there were two separate issues at hand, starting with an unusually “nasty, penetrating” odor from the food waste or biosolids at the south plant.
“We’ve brought in a major consulting firm to assist us at this point,” Wayment said. “The lead engineer there is literally a, certainly nationally, if not world-recognized authority on anaerobic digesters, and he hasn’t run into it before.”
Wayment said there is an additional problem in which a toxic discharge may have disrupted how the system usually works.
“(It’s) just incredibly bad luck that we would piggyback right on top of the first problem,” Wayment said, cautioning everyone not to dispose of toxic substances in the sewer.
He acknowledged the sewer district was “embarrassed” about the situation.
“The Foxboro (neighborhood) residents have been incredibly patient and good to work with and helped us by reporting when they have odors,” Wayment said. “We’ll do our very best to get in compliance as fast as we can.”
Resident Wendy Losee quipped that when her children have come to visit, they’ve remarked that they know they’re close to home because they can smell the odor.
She also hoped the issues could be resolved soon.
“Sometimes it’s almost so bad you can taste it,” Losee said. “It’s just really thick, you know. It’s really bad.”