Crockett residents report lingering foul odor across city: 'It smells like straight poop'

ByRyan Curry via KGO logo
Saturday, October 15, 2022
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Dozens of Crockett residents are demanding to know more about a foul odor that's present across the city.

CROCKETT, Calif. (KGO) -- Health officials in Contra Costa County announced Friday they are keeping a health advisory in place over a bad odor coming from a wastewater treatment plant.

Dozens of Crockett residents said they can't take the smell much longer.

"It smells straight like poop," one resident said. "Like if your toilet backed up and flushed back inside your toilet... that is what it smells like."

"It smells real deep sulfur to me," said another. "Sulfur and sewage."

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Pretty much everywhere you go in town, it smells that way. Residents say it has been bad for a while now. "Month and a half maybe, two months maybe."

It's so bad, it's causing some people to stay inside. "We like to have our windows open in the house, but not here," a resident said.

The smell is caused by elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide coming from the Crockett Wastewater Treatment Plant. It is designed to process sewage for the community and wastewater from the C&H Sugar Refinery.

Officials at the plant this week said the heat wave in September caused equipment to malfunction. They say the issue is fixed but the odor will linger for the next week, forcing residents to still take it in.

"Going outside working in the yard, or having people over it is pretty bad," said Crockett resident John Garris.

On Friday, the Contra Costa Health Department kept their health advisory in place due to "detectable levels of hydrogen sulfide in the air."

They say long-term exposure to high amounts can lead to nausea and brain fogginess. But on Friday they said the levels have gone down, but some are still present.

"We are still seeing hydrogen sulfide levels in the community above what we would expect," said Deputy Director of Health Services Matthew Kaufmann. "We continue to monitor and we are going to monitor the community as long as the health advisory is in effect."

Contra Costa Health Services says they will keep their health advisory up through the weekend.

Daniel Balint says he comes up here for business twice a year. If the smell continues, he says he will postpone those trips. "I mean I will still do my deliveries and stuff, but I probably won't stop here, I'll probably take it somewhere else," he says.

As for Garris, who rides his bike along the water every day, he says he wants the stench gone ASAP. "I live just up the hill... still it's pretty bad. Every time you wake up in the morning, middle of the night, it's bad."

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