WENATCHEE — The city has hit a smelly glitch in the $10 million upgrade of its sewer treatment plant.
One of the large fans that force all the stinky air from the plant into a new biological filtration system isn’t working properly. As a result, the renovations that were largely designed to reduce odors along the city’s developing waterfront are, well, not doing the job.
One of the fans has been removed and sent back to the manufacturer for testing. Public Works Director Dan Frazier said he believes they are getting close to finding the problem. But they haven’t figured out how to fix it yet.
With just one fan now working, odors are escaping the plant before they can be filtered.
Frazier asked that the public to patient. He said the plant renovation is not yet complete, and the problem should be addressed before completion.
The new ventilation system at the plant collects all the smelly air and then forces it underground to be filtered through two swimming-pool sized areas filled with sand, rocks and tiny living organisms that eat the smelly stuff out of the air. The filtration system sits underneath artwork that was installed for the enjoyment of people walking along the waterfront.
City Council members asked if the Aug. 15 grand opening ceremony for the remodeled plant is still on track. Frazier said he believes so, but invitations have not yet been sent out.
“We don’t know if we’ll have to pipe in fresh air,” he joked.
Later, he told reporters, “We’ll find a way to make sure it smells good that day.”