For one homeowner, Sartell stinks

Sewage lift stations make lousy neighbors. Just ask Robert and Deb Landwehr of Sartell, Minn., whose home along the Sauk River isn’t the idyllic spot the view might suggest.

Sewage stinks.

“It smells terrible,” Deb Landwehr, tells the St. Cloud Times about her next-door neighbor. “I love to be outside. You don’t want to have to smell that all the time.”

Officials have apparently tried everything to ensure that Sartell’s [you know] doesn’t stink, but nothing is working.

“Our state has struggled with the issue of odor for a long time, because odor is subjective,” Cathy Rofshus, the lead public information officer for water programs at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, tells the Times.

Also, apparently, because nothing can cover up the smell of human waste, subjective as it is.

Officials treat the sewage there with the biochemical Bioxide. They’ve tried a carbon filter which worked in Bloomington. And they also capped the vents and built a wood-chip bed to act as another filter. But the odor persists.

“It’s not a unique problem,” said Patrick Shea, director of public services in St. Cloud. Sometimes problems and odors arise because the sewage flow isn’t consistent or a problem starts further up the line, Shea said.

Solutions to have to be tailored to different stations.

“It’s an art, more than it is a science,” Shea said about solving issues on the sewage line. “It’s not as simple as plugging some holes and dumping a deodorizer.”

Landwehr wants to retire in a year and half, but he says he can’t use his yard because of the smell.