Sewer pipe odor fixed, utility says

The Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority flushed the system and installed new "floaters" that will send a signal to a computer system in the event of future problems.

By: Linda Seida
NEW HOPE — Residents of East Randolph Street are taking a wait-and-see attitude in response to news that a longtime odor problem there has been corrected.
   Borough manager Janell Hammond said they should notice a great improvement in coming days, thanks to a remedy made recently by the Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority. The utility responded promptly to a borough request to take care of the "putrid smell" coming from a sewer pipe on East Randolph Street, Ms. Hammond said during a meeting of Borough Council held Tuesday.
   Ms. Hammond called the authority early one recent morning, and the utility responded by 10 a.m. with two crews on the scene "correcting the smell problem," Ms. Hammond said.
   "They flushed the system out, and when I walked out of Borough Hall this afternoon there was no smell," she said.
   In addition to flushing the system, the utility also installed new "floaters," which will send a signal directly to a computer system in the event of future problems, Ms. Hammond added.
   Several residents of East Randolph Street were appreciative of Ms. Hammond’s efforts to improve the situation and of the work done by the utility, yet remain skeptical, they said. The problem has been ongoing for at least five years, and they’ve heard reassurances the problem was fixed before.
   The lack of an odor now doesn’t mean the problem is fixed, according to one woman who lives on the street.
   "The smells vary by time of day — 3 a.m., 6 a.m., 11 p.m.," she said. "It’ll kill you."
   She added even her mailman has asked, "How can you stand the smell?"
   Grover Stultz, who has lived on the street since 1986, thanked Ms. Hammond and the council for their efforts to solve the ongoing problem.
   "I know it takes a lot of effort," he said.
   Tenants living in his buildings "gag everyday," he said.
   Clients who visit him at his East Randolph Street address also gag, he added.
   "I’ve tried to be understanding," Mr. Stultz said, explaining he’s heard the utility say they’ve replaced floaters and tried other remedies before. "My understanding is wearing a bit thin."
   After years of dealing with the horrific odor, he said he wants to tell the water and sewer authority to get on with the business of finding a real solution. What he really wants to tell them, he said as he threw up his hands in frustration, is "Just move it!"
   If residents continue to notice an odor, Ms. Hammond encouraged them to call the Borough Hall and let her know.