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Woolen Mills Neighborhood Still Dealing With Odors

By: Suzanne Wilson Email
By: Suzanne Wilson Email

September 24, 2013

The Woolen Mills neighborhood in Charlottesville has been dealing with an odor coming from the Moores Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant for years now. The Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority (RWSA) have been talking about fixing the odor in 2007. Since then, there have been some improvements made but they haven't gotten rid of the smell.

Andrea Stinnie, Woolen Mills Resident, said, "It's awful. I can't comment on it. It's just terrible.

Tom Frederick, RWSA Executive Director, said, "The bacteria that creates the clean water and produces the compost is also the same bacteria that causes scents that people don't like."

The RWSA added covers to some of the smelliest parts of the facility. Neighbors say it has helped but is still isn't enough.

Sitnnie said, "It's worse in the summer time. You can smell it from a mile away. You can't even sit on the porch outside. The kids complain, the neighbors complain, I also complain."

Steve Taylor, Woolen Mills Resident, said, "It doesn't happen real often but when it does, it's yucky."

Improvements have already been made to the wastewater treatment facility. The discussion of the next phase was supposed to occur during Tuesday's RWSA meeting but it is now being postponed until October.

Frederick said, "How much further do we go, in the direction of recognizing it's expensive, to provide benefit to the community?" He continued, "The board is facing now, they have already approved an additional two million dollars for some additional odor control. There was conversation in the city council meeting a week ago to maybe go even further than that and maybe do another phase of improvements."

Taylor said, "This has been an issue for years and years and years. It ought to go away. I mean, that's what I'm hoping. That was promised years ago but everybody has still turned up their noses."

Frederick said that it could still be a couple of years until the next phase of improvements are in place.

Note: Story video shows the Hogwaller Neighborhood right across from the wastewater treatment plant. It is not video of Woolen Mills. Both neighborhoods suffer from the odor.

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