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Author Topic: What's that smell??  (Read 15937 times)

beedee

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What's that smell??
« on: May 11, 2006, 01:46:47 PM »
Has anyone else living around Ditmars noticed the increasing frequency of a sewage smell infecting the air?  Sometimes it's very subtle and others it's downright offensive.  Last weekend I was riding my bike around and came across a small baseball field near the water and the smell was so strong that I started gagging.  I can't imagine what it was like for the poor folks trying to play ball out there.

It seems to be getting worse from week to week, and I'm sure that summer's hot air will not bode well for the smell subsiding.

Does anyone here know the cause of this, and if it's due to some kind of pollution or industrial actions, is there anything that can be done about it?

Offline Jtrane

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Re: What's that smell??
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2006, 01:50:32 PM »
Yeah.  I've noticed it too.  I've been up by Ditmars for over 2 years, and a few weeks ago was the first time I really noticed it.  I hope the sanitation dept. can resolve it.  It's particularly offensive at night, I've noticed.
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Offline schmennifer

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Re: What's that smell??
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2006, 03:22:28 PM »
I've been noticing it too, and it has been around for more than just a few weeks. I noticed it a few months back when there was a particularly strong wind from the north. I kept checking the bottoms of my shoes because I was convinced that I had stepped in something.

This can't be healthy, and it's becoming a pretty strong reason to move. Sure, there's air pollution everywhere, but how often does it smell like sewage? We won't be able to keep our windows open in the summer or go for walks around the neighborhood if this continues.

Offline lanseaux

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Re: What's that smell??
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2006, 04:01:46 PM »
It's courtesy of our neighbourhood sewage treatment plant - the Bowery Bay WPCP (Water Pollution Control Plant), located at 43-01 Berrian Blvd.  Where is that, you may ask?  Go north on Steinway St. to Berrian Blvd, which is one block north of 19th Ave.  Make a right and go three blocks.  Until recently, the facade of the building had a really fantastic public works bas-relief.  Unfortunately, it's recently been covered over with a maze of piping that obscures nearly the whole thing.

It always seems to smell more when it's damp or humid out - I think the smell doesn't dissipate as quickly in the moister air.

Here's a list of the 14 WPCPs owned by New York City.  If you can wade through the legalese, the decision deals with nitrogen effluent reduction schedules at all 14 plants.

Offline lanseaux

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Re: What's that smell??
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2006, 04:13:10 PM »
Edit:

It's courtesy of our neighbourhood sewage treatment plant - the Bowery Bay WPCP (Water Pollution Control Plant), located at 43-01 Berrian Blvd.  Where is that, you may ask?  Go north on Steinway St. to Berrian Blvd, which is one block north of 19th Ave.  Make a right and go three blocks.  Until recently, the facade of the building had a really fantastic public works bas-relief.  Unfortunately, it's recently been covered over with a maze of piping that obscures nearly the whole thing.  I think the pipe maze may be part of an "upgrade" they've been working on for the past couple of years.  This link (cached version only available) mentions the bas-relief detail. 

It always seems to smell more when it's damp or humid out - I think the smell doesn't dissipate as quickly in the moister air.  The smell has always been around, although it's been more noticeable for the past couple of years, which coincides with the "upgrade". 

Here's a list of the 14 WPCPs owned by New York City.  If you can wade through the legalese, the decision deals with nitrogen effluent reduction schedules at all 14 plants.

Offline MandaT

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Re: What's that smell??
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2006, 04:21:14 PM »
I smell it when I go walking up in Astoria Park. Or rather, the extension of it along the water that goes all the way up to the power plant. I only really smell it during those last 10 blocks or so, and some times I smell it, others I don't. I'm sure it has something to do with the direction of the wind.

Is that the same thing or is that power-plant related? I remember thinking it would probably suck to live up there if it smelled like that all the time.   :-(

tuesday

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Re: What's that smell??
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2006, 04:24:28 PM »
I first noticed this smell  2  summers ago,  when I lived over on 23rd Ave and 32nd street.
Always late in the evening in the summer. And I would need to close my bedroom window because the smell was so strong and toxic. And Nobody else ever noticed it though.
 One day bike riding, I came to a baseball field along the water and noticed the smell there as well, just like  beedee said, but I couldn't tell what it was coming from. I wonder if this is where the sewage treatment lanseaux describes is. It's in the vicinity of LaGuardia.
  It smells so toxic, I can't imagine this is safe.  Maybe it's badsmelling but harmless?

  

Offline enigmacat

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Re: What's that smell??
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2006, 04:42:53 PM »
I smelled butterscotch on 30th ave the other night...

nothing toxic, though.

Offline schmennifer

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Re: What's that smell??
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2006, 07:02:41 PM »
Why can't sewage smell more like butterscotch? Life's so unfair.

Offline megc

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Re: What's that smell??
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2006, 07:16:29 PM »
Well, then maybe one would want to eat sewage and that's an ick factor I can't even fathom.

Offline schmennifer

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Re: What's that smell??
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2006, 07:33:44 PM »
On the other hand, one might become disgusted at the smell of butterscotch because it'd smell like something that came out of our bodies.

Offline AlexNYC

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Re: What's that smell??
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2006, 09:48:48 PM »
I've been noticing the smell too, it's more pronounced in the morning, and more obvious as you approach the Ditmars area. To me it's smells a bit like a bug that gets zapped, or a fly that burns when it falls inside a lighting fixture.

I was wondering what the origin was, I just knew it wasn't something that was healthy to the environment. Some mornings I open my window only to close it right away because of the smell.  :x 

Offline Mark

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Re: What's that smell??
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2006, 09:19:21 AM »
This ran in today's NY Post.

BIG WHIFF OF ANGER

 By ANGELA MONTEFINISE

 May 13, 2006 -- This place stinks.

 That's what furious Queens residents are saying about a city sewage-treatment plant in Astoria that's been emitting an "intolerable" stench for months.

 "It smells like 20 dogs took a dump in my yard," said Nick Arakas, 35, who lives two blocks from the plant. "You can't keep your windows open. You can't stay out more than a minute. I have a 3-year-old, and my wife doesn't take him outside."

 The city has been aware of the problem since November, when the plant's boilers - which heat sludge and reduce odors - were destroyed in a fire.

  But it has taken months to order parts and prepare for the repair, and a contractor defaulted on the project, said Charles Sturken, a spokesman for the city Department of Environmental Protection.

 "How long are we supposed to wait?" asked Sandra Martin, 55, who lives near the plant. "It's been months already. "

 Sturken said the boilers would be fixed in the next month. 

Offline rene0226

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Re: What's that smell??
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2006, 12:55:51 PM »
I don't know where the plant is but for about the past six months, I frequently smell an awful odor of sewage (sp) when crossing over the manhole at the corner of 29th Street & 23rd Avenue.
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Offline Jtrane

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Re: What's that smell??
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2006, 01:43:47 PM »
And all this time I thought it was my feet. :-P
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Astorians

Re: What's that smell??
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2006, 01:43:47 PM »

 

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