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Expect “Increase in Odor” Near Sewage Plant

by ARLnow.com April 28, 2011 at 11:46 am 4,601 24 Comments

The smell around the Water Pollution Control Plant in South Arlington is going to get worse before it gets better.

In a note to neighbors today, managers say that they’re “working diligently to reduce the excessive odors that were intermittently emitted from the Plant over the past few weeks.”

However, the work that must be done to solve the problem over the next month — cleaning ducts, performing maintenance activities, modifying equipment for rapid troubleshooting — will “likely cause a temporary increase in odor.”

“The Water Pollution Control Plant strives to provide the best level of customer service and we apologize for any inconvenience,” plant representatives wrote. “In the future we will attempt to perform the duct cleaning activities during the winter months to minimize the impact on the local residents.”

Managers also say they will be “refreshing staff on odor control procedures.”

  • John Fontain

    Predicting which day this plant is or isn’t going to be putting off noxious fumes is a real crapshoot.

    • me

      Oh, don’t make such a stink over it.

      • Curious George

        Hopefully they will get to the bottom of the problem soon.

  • KalashniKEV

    So the level of Stank in S. Arlington has risen from 8 nanograms per thousand to 9? How terrible!

    • MC 703

      Most of South Arlington smells eerily similar to NoArl.

      • KalashniKEV

        In order to escape comment moderation, I will not list the contributing factors- but S. Arlington smells worse than N. Arlington.

        • dynaroo

          Does it rub off on your burritos?

        • South Arlington

          That’s OK, North Arlington is stuck with Courthouse, the headquarters of the destitute young “professionals” sharing 2 bedroom apartments 4 ways, the expansive ghetto between 50 and Clarendon Blvd., Slummers Bar and Grill, and bums. As long as those factors stay in Courthouse I’ll be happy.

          • KalashniKEV

            You just made me cry b/c it’s all true… 🙁

  • Skeptical

    “Refreshing” is charming word choice in the context. I think.

  • Curious George

    It has been pretty fragrant in the south part of Crystal City this week. Not a gut wrenching stink but very noticeable.

    Ironically it seems to reduce my itchy eyes caused by oak pollen.

  • CrystalMikey

    Just need a nice southerly wind to blow into Alexandria. 😀

  • ClizzleDizzle

    I think we can all agree that this will only improve South Arlington’s natural fragrance.

  • Odors likely increase in the warmer weather since sewage has the temperature to fester. It wouldn’t surprise me if the plant had mothballed odor equipment for the winter and is now behind it getting it unmothballed.

  • SamsontheCat

    Actual embarassing conversation this weekend:

    Me: “It’s a really nice night and something smells really good. Is that the trees?”
    Friend: “No, that’s the sewage plant. You’ve never noticed that before?”
    Me: “Ummm…yeah…but it only smells bad by the plant…here (Crystal City) it just smells kind of exotic and fragrant.”

    • dynaroo

      Go to the spot where the treated water exits the plant into Four Mile Run, along the bike trail. It smells great. Like fresh topsoil.

      • Aaron

        Across the river, there’s a spot where untreated wastewater discharges into the C&O Canal, which leaves that part of Georgetown extraordinarily ripe, especially on a warm day after a storm.

        South Arlington = downright Georgetown-esque.

        • dynaroo

          Yeah, there are a few dozen places all along the river dumping raw sewage from DC. Awesome.

          And I was serious about the good smell from the discharge. Try it. It’s a very fertile smell, like fresh soil.

  • The only other place it would be possible to build a sanitation plant is on spout run. Stay out home NIMBYs have been keeping that option unable forever. Always been of the opinion that the 22202 should disjoin and create its own county/city. The airport, sanitation plant, pentagon mall, and crystal city buisness districts would provide more than enough tax revenue to have the best living destination in the country. Gunston and Oakridge could easily be converted into grades k-7, and 8-12. Theres a law on the books that only affects Arlington County, and I think fairfax fromt his happening though.

    • NOVApologist

      Pretty sure Spout Run is National Park Service land.

    • dynaroo

      I don’t live anywhere near Spout Run but I wouldn’t want it spoiled by a water treatment plant either.

  • South Arlington is a third of arlingtons total acrage, but fully half the business zoning is in it. South Arlington stinks so that North Arlington schools wont.

  • G Clifford Prout

    I’ll be sending a very special stinkbomb their way in about 10 minutes. Manee Thai did a number on me last night.

    • BrownClown

      Love it! I’ll follow that on with one made from Hard Times chili and wings I’ve been brewing up today.


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