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Nipomo waste water plant creates smelly odors for residents

Residents living in Nipomo say they have been smelling what they call very bad odors from the water treatment plant.

“It really can be an appetite killer,” said resident Kevin Farage.

Residents are complaining about a foul smell in Nipomo and wondering where it’s coming from, but the community services district manager says the problem is being addressed.

“The district has a wastewater plant out along highway 101. That plant collects sewage and periodically the drying beds that the materials dry in have to be emptied,” said Mario Iglesias, General Manager of the Nipomo Community Services District.

A tractor arrives and loads sewage into a trailer, which can cause those bad odors for people in the area.

This process happens about twice a year, once before the rainy season and once during the summer after the material has dried according to Iglesias. But residents say the smells have become more frequent.

“When we were looking at the home, we really didn’t smell anything, but after we moved in, it was once every few weeks you could smell the plant. Last year was really bad it was at least once as a week, maybe more,” said Farage.

In 2017, the high rainy season led to a strong, pungent smell coming from the Southland Wastewater Treatment Facility, which put the property on the map for complaints.

Iglesias says there can’t be a sewer plant without odors, and the district is working on potential solutions to help lessen the odor in the community.

“The district is investing in a million-dollar screw press that will take the solids and de-water the material put it right into a bin and then move it off of the plant immediately,” said Iglesias.

Residents hope the district can find an answer to keep the odors away.

“That would be great if they could improve it. It’s something that would affect our property value if we decided to sell,” said Farage.

The district says it’s committed to making sure they are good neighbors in the community and hope that the new screw press can help mitigate the smells.

The Nipomo Community Services District hopes to have the screw press up and operational sometime in 2020.

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