Crockett plant manager expects current foul odor to last for additional 7-10 days

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ByJ.R. Stone via KGO logo
Thursday, October 13, 2022
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The sewage smell in parts of Crockett caused by equipment failure at the wastewater plant is likely to last 7-10 more days, according to its manager.

CROCKETT, Calif. (KGO) -- For weeks, residents in the East Bay town of Crockett have complained of the smells.

The local sugar company runs the Crockett Wastewater Treatment Plant, and said there was equipment failure during the last month's extreme heat.

This Crockett Wastewater Treatment Plant may look fine, but it certainly doesn't smell fine. It smells like sewage, and it smells like that in different parts of town depending on the wind. Because of that, residents are angry.

"We have been suffering with the smell outside as well as in," said Jenna Goodman of Crockett.

"It's like a slam in the face when you walk out the door," said Naomi Murray of Crockett.

"I have friends whose noses are beginning to bleed. I have been experiencing nausea, brain fog," said Nancy Cimarron Rieser of Crockett.

Those at C&H Sugar Factory run the treatment facility as part of a long-term deal with the city. They say last month's extreme heat caused equipment to malfunction.

Rental equipment was brought in but didn't fix the problem involving microorganisms. Plant manager Hitesh Modgil says they spent extra money to get a contractor as soon as possible, but even then there was a delay.

"As you know in this economy things are not readily available, the lead time was months out and we said, 'No no, we don't want it months out we want it yesterday!' We threw money at it and the earliest a contractor started working on it was Oct. 10," said Modgil.

As of late Wednesday, that work is finished. Still though there is a delay in getting rid of the smell.

"Even with the diffusers cleaned, it will take 7-10 days more before this odor is gone for good," said Modgil.

The Contra Costa Public Health Director recommends that anyone experiencing minor symptoms due to the odor stay indoors.

"I'm not expecting any long term health effects from this. It smells bad, it can cause short-term issues. The levels that we are seeing are really not at the levels that could impact people for the long-term," said Contra Costa County Public Health Director Dr. Ori Tzvieli.

Still though, many here are concerned.

"I have a 2-year-old daughter and watching her cough and not feel well is very difficult to watch," said Goodman.

A town hall meeting on all of this will be held at the Crockett Community Center Thursday at 7 p.m.

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