News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


DU needs to work harder to rid plant of sewer odor

The Decatur sewage treatment plant is not moving; neither is Leon Sheffield magnet school.

Like they've done for decades, people in the area along Alabama 20 West will continue to sniff the unpleasant aroma until Decatur Utilities eliminates the odors.

Good luck, people who live in that Northwest Decatur neighborhood are probably thinking at the suggestion of eliminating the smell. It's been a problem for decades. Through the years, DU worked at reducing odors and trying to clean up the air, although residents met the lack of success with a justified skepticism rooted in past wrongs.

Now that Leon Sheffield is a magnet school that draws students from a wider area, the problem impacts more people. Cynics might say that DU will pay more attention to eliminating the odors, now. Let's hope it does. And if it does, teachers and students won't be the only ones to benefit.

The latest solution is as old as making your home smell fresh and clean. DU hopes to mask the smell with air fresheners.

Because Leon Sheffield is now a magnet school and with the opening of the new Ingalls Harbor, the sewage plant's smell will become a political problem for more people. That means that DU will probably be more careful about the waste that it allows into the plant. One of the causes cited for the odor recently was that certain materials got into the system to upset the process.

Leon Sheffield is a fine, completely renovated facility that is an asset to the community. DU must continue looking for a solution to the pesky problem. And when it finds one, the community will benefit.

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