Sewage Odors Coming From North Carolina Plant

Jan. 17, 2019

A resident speaks out on the sewage odors she can smell from her home in Winston-Salem N.C.

Resident Kathy Hines of the Griffith Park neighborhood in Winston-Salem, N.C., is tired of the sewage odors coming from the Archie Elledge Wastewater Treatment Plant and wants local officials to do something about it.

“How would you want to live in a place that smells like a dump?” Hines asked The Winston-Salem Journal.

According to Hines, she can even smell the odors from inside her home. She has spoken to local utilities and environmental officials about the odors and has been told that the sewer gases don’t cause any health issues.

“My eyes burn sometimes and my nostrils burn, so I’m not sure why they think it’s not bothersome to anyone healthwise?” Hines said to The Journal.

Courtney Driver, the director of the City-County Utilities Division, said the plant is more of a nuisance because of the odors, but it is not dangerous. According to her, that is currently a structural issue at the plant.

“We are not in violation of our environmental permit with the state in any way,” Driver said to The Journal.

Hines wrote a letter to the county commissioners stating that she has additional petitions and would like a response to the neighbors’ request for the moratorium on the plant’s operations, according to The Journal.

The Elledge plant itself is one of two wastewater-treatment facilities operated by the City-County Utilities Division, according to The Journal. The other is the Muddy Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant on Cooper Road in Winston-Salem.

According to The Journal, the local wastewater system includes 50 remote lift stations, two plant operations, a regional dryer facility group, an industrial-waste control department, a lab, maintenance, electrical, instrumentation and controls, and a warehouse.

Since its inception in 1958, the Elledge plant on average treats 16 million to 17 million gal of wastewater a day. However, it is designed and permitted by the state to treat 30 million gal a day.

The Elledge plant produces biosolid pellets, a byproduct of the wastewater-treatment process, which can be used for fertilizer. According to The Journal, the pellets are sold and generate a small revenue stream for the utilities division.