Everything not smelling sweet quite yet for MW sewer customers

-A A +A
By Mary Barczak

MOUNT WASHINGTON--The battle of the stink continues in Mount Washington. At Monday’s city council meeting, a lengthy discussion was had about possible solutions for the sewage stench.

Fortunately, Mayor Joetta Calhoun said the cold winter we’ve had has helped with the smell for now. But as warmer temperatures begin, they have to start exploring more solutions.

She other city officials have been meeting with Webster Environmental and Odor Control Engineering from Louisville and Aqua Utility Services LLC from New Albany, Ind.

City Engineer Dave Derrick explained the chemical feeder system that they have been using for several months at the sewer plant hasn’t solved the odor problem.

 “(The chemical) doesn’t have time to react to the septic sewage down there,” he said.

Council member Barry Armstrong asked if there had a been a change at the plant which could have caused the odor.

Derrick said there had been.

“The old system used gravity pipes which allowed some of the sewage to be aerated,” he said.

The new system, however, uses pumping to move the waste down the lines.

“It takes 24 hours (for some of the sewage) to get to the plant,” he said. “It’s decomposing in the lines, which releases these gases.”

Derrick said he thinks the problem can be alleviated if they address the longest force mains at Barbara Sue Lane, Grant Drive, Pleasant Grove Elementary and at St. Francis Xavier Church. 

He said chemicals could be added to these stations which would help add more oxygen to the waste and inhibit the bacteria from decomposing it too fast. Another option would be to add a ventilation system to the pump stations.

Derrick said City Sewer Superintendent Tim Johnson plans to relocate the chemical system to the Grant pump station where they think it will be more beneficial.

“These chemicals aren’t cheap,” he said.

For a backup plan, Derrick said Webster Environmental has made a proposal to do a study on MW’s sewer system to offer alternatives their problem.

City Utility Superintendent Ronnie Fick said since the seasons changed directly from fall to winter last year Johnson still hasn’t had a chance to fully implement the program yet. He said with more time, it very well might still solve the odor problem.

But they won’t know until the “heat of summer” Calhoun said.


In other business:

-During the police report for February, Chief Roy Daugherty said they had a pretty slow month. He said they are still having a lot of alarm calls, something he has expressed interest in having the city draft an ordinance for before. Daugherty said the mayor had given him an article about another city that has an ordinance in place for alarms. He hoped it was something they could discuss more in the future. 

Last month the department responded to 38 alarms calls. January they responded to 48 alarms calls and 55 calls in December.

Daugherty also said a committee examined the vehicle policy that was changed and suggested the mileage for the take home cars be changed to 15 mile radius from city hall and the charge removed.

City Attorney Matthew Lemme said he will review the changes and seek the council’s approval for the next meeting.

“We have to have justifications for each of those changes,” he said.

- Depp Rasner, a candidate for county judge executive, addressed the council. He said he is running for office due to numerous issues with the current fiscal court.

“The administration doesn’t know what’s going on in the county,” he said.

If elected, he plans to implement a monthly activity report.

-All council members were present except Gayle Troutman and Brent Wheeler.

-During the city attorney’s report, Lemme said the Kentucky Supreme Court will be hearing the suit between Bullitt County Fiscal Court and the Bulitt County Health Department in Frankfort at 10 a.m. on April 10. Lemme said MW has joined with the other cities of the county to take Fiscal Court’s side on the matter.

“Not because we are in favor of smoking but, in my opinion, this is a dangerous abuse of power,” he said.

-The council also heard three readings having to do with unincorporated territories. The initial two were second readings on ordinance 14 to annex 8.64 acres on Brookeway Drive and Eastbrooke Pointe and the other 14.38 at the same location. Both were approved.

And the third, a first reading to annex 3.62 acres south of of Hwy 44 on Hardy Lane.

-The council went into executive session to discuss possible acquistion of property. Instructions were given to Lemme and the council authorized the mayor to continue with negotiations. 

The next council meeting will be March 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the city annex building. The building is located at 186 Branham Way. The public is invited to attend.