Residents ask, 'what's that smell in Mt. Washington'


by Gene Kang

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 7:54 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 23 at 8:01 PM

(WHAS11) -- What is that horrible smell? It is a question more people have been asking in Mt. Washington. Many think the stench is coming from the waste water treatment plant, but the city says that is not the main source.

Joe McIntyre and his dog, Barkley, live in a beautiful home in the Woodlake subdivision. Except for one major problem.

"It smells like rotten eggs, raw sewage," McIntyre said.

McIntyre noticed the stench last summer and the odor fills the air in the morning and at night even in January. A scent so strong he tries to stay indoors.

Barbara Gunterman says it is so foul that neighbors have complained to the city of Mt. Washington.

"It kind of burns. You breathe in with your nose. You think oh my, my eyes," Gunterman said.

The waste water treatment plant churns out whatever people flush or drain. It is located about a mile from the Woodlake neighborhood.

The fairly new treatment facility filters gallons upon gallons of some disgusting waste water.

What looks like a steel jungle is where Mt. Washington filters out tons of debris. A machine takes out some of that nasty things from raw sewage. It looks nasty and smells even worse.

"You get a stagnated smell, what you call a rotten egg smell. That's what people complain about," Ronnie Fick, Utilities Superintendent with Mt. Washington said.

Fick said the waste water plant on Redbud Lane is not the main issue. The year 2012 was one of the hottest and driest years on record and mother nature caused quite a stink with underground pipes.

"In the summer months we lower them down to keep the odor out of the lift stations. But when you've got several miles of force mains that are sitting there stagnated. Once it's pumped, that smell is going to come from somewhere," Fick said.

The city says they have spent thousands of dollars on filtration, checking lift stations and airing out many complaints. They say they will respond to all calls.