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NEWBERRY – Paul and Beverly Hardy have lived in their home in Newberry for nine years. They knew that living next to a wastewater treatment plant may bring in some unpleasant smells from time to time, but in the past couple of months the stench has become increasingly worse.

“It’s a pungent, stinky smell,” Paul Hardy, 74, said. “It will actually make you sick, I think.”

The couple said their daughter who lives in the same neighborhood has also noticed the odors. She had thought something died, Beverly Hardy, 74, said.

They said that sometimes the smell is so bad, that they can’t sit outside. The problem is something that has progressed over time, especially the past couple of months.

“The smell has gotten worse and worse and worse,” Paul Hardy said.

According to the city’s utility director, Blaine Suggs, the foul odor is coming from an effluent storage pond. The pond has been covered in a growth of duckweed, which has caused the pond to become stagnant.

Duckweed is a plant that grows on the surface of the water and causes problems in ponds because it essentially seals the pond from sunlight, preventing oxygenation.

Suggs said that the city’s utilities department is working with William T. Haller of the UF IFAS Aquatic Center to apply a herbicide to kill the duckweed.

It’s important that they are careful with the herbicide, Suggs said in an email, because the effluent will be sprayed onto the hayfield. They need to be sure the herbicide does not damage the grass.

Air diffusers will be installed at the bottom of the pond to help with stagnation and remove the muck from the bottom of the pond. Suggs said that once the diffusers are installed, there may be a noticeable increase in the pungent smell for about a week.

Biological microbes may be introduced to combat the muck accumulation.

If everything goes as planned, there should be a noticeable improvement within the next two weeks and the odors should subside, Suggs said.

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Email mharvard@alachuatoday.com

NEWBERRY – Paul and Beverly Hardy have lived in their home in Newberry for nine years. They knew that living next to a wastewater treatment plant may bring in some unpleasant smells from time to time, but in the past couple of months the stench has become increasingly worse.

“It’s a pungent, stinky smell,” Paul Hardy, 74, said. “It will actually make you sick, I think.”

The couple said their daughter who lives in the same neighborhood has also noticed the odors. She had thought something died, Beverly Hardy, 74, said.

They said that sometimes the smell is so bad, that they can’t sit outside. The problem is something that has progressed over time, especially the past couple of months.

“The smell has gotten worse and worse and worse,” Paul Hardy said.

According to the city’s utility director, Blaine Suggs, the foul odor is coming from an effluent storage pond. The pond has been covered in a growth of duckweed, which has caused the pond to become stagnant.

Duckweed is a plant that grows on the surface of the water and causes problems in ponds because it essentially seals the pond from sunlight, preventing oxygenation.

Suggs said that the city’s utilities department is working with William T. Haller of the UF IFAS Aquatic Center to apply a herbicide to kill the duckweed.

It’s important that they are careful with the herbicide, Suggs said in an email, because the effluent will be sprayed onto the hayfield. They need to be sure the herbicide does not damage the grass.

Air diffusers will be installed at the bottom of the pond to help with stagnation and remove the muck from the bottom of the pond. Suggs said that once the diffusers are installed, there may be a noticeable increase in the pungent smell for about a week.

Biological microbes may be introduced to combat the muck accumulation.

If everything goes as planned, there should be a noticeable improvement within the next two weeks and the odors should subside, Suggs said.

#     #     #

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