This doesn’t stink! City says it will solve Owls Head smell

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The city finally has a solution that might finally quench the stench that emanates from the Owls Head Wastewater Treatment Plant in Bay Ridge.

In an effort to contain the putrid odors that escape from the sewage plant in the northwest corner of the neighborhood, workers this summer will install tight-fitting aluminum covers over a cascading waterfall of barely treated sewage deemed responsible for more than 90 percent of Owls Head’s storied stink.

The planned covers will replace wood and steel canopies that were erected over the plant’s primary tank effluent launders two years ago in an attempt to temporarily quell odors on a shoestring budget while the agency sought funds for a more permanent remedy.

Money for the $800,000 project has recently been secured — just in nick of time, according to Department of Environmental Protection Assistant Commissioner Vincent Sapienza.

“We were only going to get three years out of [the existing covers]. They are warping,” he told Community Board 10 on May 18.

Sapienza promised that the new covers — which will close tightly around the tanks themselves, unlike the makeshift wooden canopies — might make the reek more meek.

“They are sealed — unlike the plywood covers that are just placed on top,” he noted.

Workers will remove the old canopies and install new covers on each of the nine tanks one at a time, so as to limit neighborhood exposure to the uncovered septic tubs, Sapienza added.

Installation of the new covers should be completed by September, after which the agency will put in a new odor-absorption system. A project to enlarge the plant’s “residuals handling” building is expected to be complete in late 2010, providing additional odor reductions, agency spokeswoman Mercedes Padilla wrote in an e-mail.

CB10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann celebrated the plans, which could help bring an end to neighbors’ ongoing complaints about fowl odors that waft from the plant into the similarly named Owls Head Park just across the Shore Parkway.

Even neighborhood gadfly Allen Bortnick — a longtime critic of Department of Environmental Protection policy — agreed that the new covers might finally stop the stink.

“It’s definitely going to be better,” he said. “If you cover the tank itself, you are containing the smell.”

Updated 5:13 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Scott from PLG says:
They're capturing Methane and then putting in an odor absorbtion system? Why does the city insist on remaking the failed models of the past? They should be burning that captured gas and generating electricity from it!
May 26, 2009, 8:29 pm
Carla says:
Its easier to spend taxpayers dollars than to come up with something "green" that would possibly benefit the community and the environment. At least that would be a more positive approach to spending our dollars!
May 28, 2009, 11:55 am
TH from Bay Ridge says:
Has anyone heard any update on this? I live on 71 and Ridge and the odor is unbearable in my apartment.
Oct. 10, 2009, 5:07 pm
mick connor from Kurnell says:
We are marketing a product called "EarthEcco" which totally neutralizers odours in air by encapsulating the molecules and leaving a harmless by product posing no health risk to humans and animals or the environment.

It has been trialled on gases like Hydrogen sulphide, ammonia to name a few and during the process converts to harmless inorganic salts and complex organic molecules.

For more info contact or 0488788202
Aug. 22, 2011, 7:14 pm

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