Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 11-21-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | NOVEMBER 21-27, 2019 WOONSOCKET 3 WOONSOCKET – After months of study and several years of debate, a new report commissioned by the city has confirmed that the wastewa- ter treatment facility and solid waste processing plant on Cumberland Hill Road do, in fact, smell. While the basics of the report are already well known to city residents, city officials are hopeful the detailed recommendations and further inves- tigation contained in the report will lead to some relief for those who have spent years dealing with the offensive odors. The 42-page report, prepared by Bowker and Associates, details sev- eral culprits for the smells, many of them related to faulty or improperly covered equipment at the two-part processing plant. Some of the recommendations listed in the report include: • Conduct a thorough investigation of two large chemical scrubbers that should be capable of 90 percent effi- ciency but are only providing 50 to 60 percent odor reduction. • Seal openings in a gravity thick- ener cover that is allowing odors to escape. • Replace or clean ductwork. • Install a fixed cover over the cen- trate pump station. • Review procedures for offloading sludge from delivery trucks to reduce the amount of time the bay doors are open. • Review procedures for trucks hauling waste into the city. Discussing the findings on Monday, Public Works Director Steven D'Agostino said city workers have already begun addressing the recommendations in the report. "We read the report, and we imme- diately met with the two entities that occupy and operate the plant," he told city councilors. "Some of these items and recommendations have already been worked on, and the others are already in the works." The Cumberland Hill Road plant consists of two separate facilities, both of which were examined in the report. Jacobs Engineering Group operates a wastewater treatment plant for the city, while Synagro has operated a solid waste process- ing plant at the site since 1988. In addition to serving Woonsocket and surrounding communities, Synagro imports waste from other areas in the region for processing and incin- eration. One of the worst perpetrators in the report, said D'Agostino, were the trucks used to haul waste to the plant from Route 99. "We almost need a sentry at the city line to stop trucks before they come into the city that aren't prop- erly covered," he said. Most of the recommendations in the report, he said, are the respon- sibility of Jacobs and Synagro to address, while the city is responsible for only a small number of the con- cerns. Councilor Jon Brien, who has been vocal about the odors coming from the two plants, said he was encour- aged by the results of the report but expressed frustration the situation was not addressed earlier. "It becomes a reputation issue," he said. "How do you turn a city around that has such a poor smell attached to it? And when people come to our city, it smells bad." The good news is that one of the larger concerns previously discussed by city officials, two open tanks used for wastewater treatment, were not found to be a significant source of smells. Previous estimates had put the cost of capping those tanks close to $3 million. D'Agostino said he plans to meet with representatives of the two com- panies again after they've had a few weeks to implement the recommen- dations. Councilors said they hope to hold a public presentation on the issue sometime in December. New odor study spurs action on wastewater smells By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@valleybreeze.com 'We almost need a sentry at the city line to stop trucks before they come into the city that aren't properly covered.' STEVEN D'AGOSTINO Woonsocket Public Works Director thank you for supporting our Valley Breeze advertisers. They make this free newspaper possible! GREAT VALUE QUALITY SERVICE 36 BLACKSTONE STREET WOONSOCKET 401-766-3270 WWW.TERRYAUTOLTD.COM Gil & Meika 2008 TOYOTA RAV 4 FWD, Loaded 80K miles ............................... $ 8,295 Now Offering On-Site Bank Financing Westlake Financial WE BUY CARS 2008 FORD EDGE 2003 BUICK LE SABRE Loaded, 153K miles ........................... $ 4,495 97K miles, loaded ........................................... $ 3,295 David Ward DMD Empowering people to smile. 460 S. Main St., Woonsocket, RI • 401-762-2422 • www.DrDaveWard.com NO DENTAL INSURANCE? TAKE ADVANTAGE of our DISCOUNT DENTAL PLAN! 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