Wastewater Facility

The odor problem at Washington’s wastewater treatment facility appears to be under control, according to Kevin Quaethem, water/wastewater superintendent.

Quaethem updated the board of public works on the odor at Tuesday’s board meeting.

“We have been working hard to try and alleviate the odors we had last year and as it stands right now, we’ve done a pretty good job,” he said, adding that he is at the plant almost daily to monitor the odor. “I haven’t received any complaints.”

Last Wednesday, April 3, there was an odor at the plant, but the problem was immediately identified and corrected, Quaethem said.

The odor was caused by slurry leachate brought in by a hauler. Quaethem noted that the plant has accepted this type of leachate before.

This time, however, the substance became septic in the drying beds and as it was moved, it created a strong odor, he explained.

“We addressed it immediately. We mixed lime in with it and alleviated the odor,” Quaethem said.

“At this time, the city has decided to only accept liquid leachate to help curb the possible odor issue,” Quaethem said.

Steve Sullentrup, board member, asked how much the city is paid per gallon to accept the leachate.

“It ranges from 7 to 10 cents and normally we break even,” he said. “But when we start bringing lime in and spreading it and mixing it, we don’t make any money off of it and with the odor problems that we’ve had — I really don’t want to bring anything in that will generate another odor and create another problem.”

Now that temperatures are rising, Quaethem said the plant will need to be monitored heavily because the bacteria will start changing, which can potentially create odor problems.

“We are staying on top of it on a daily basis,” he said.