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Lexington Division of Water director updates council committee on sewage odor problem

Odors from Lexington's Town Branch sewage treatment plant and others have led Mayor Linda Gorton to pay $75,000 to a Louisville firm to help solve the problem.
GRW Engineering
Lexington's Town Branch sewage treatment plant (shown here) and the West Hickman plant aren't the only sources of problem orders, Division of Water Director Charlie Martin told a council committee Tuesday.

Lexington Division of Water Director Charlie Martin briefed a city council committee Tuesday on efforts to reduce odors coming from the city’s sewage system. In November, Mayor Linda Gorton issued an emergency order to pay 75-thousand dollars to a Louisville firm to study the problem and recommend solutions. Martin said the two sewage treatment plants weren’t the only source of the odors and that they were hard to pin down.

“There's some days that you'd think there would be odors and they're not there. And other times I'm shocked. But what we've done in response to this up to this point is basically we've tried to be able to treat particular units that we, my nose told me is not working well.”

Martin said city and Webster Environmental Associates workers have taken several steps to reduce the odors, but said a lot more money will be needed to fix the problems long-term.

“The design work for replacing the equipment at both treatment plans is estimated at $550,000.”

Council members praised Martin for his many communications and meetings with constituents who’ve been raising a stink about the smell.

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
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