Savannah close to implementing long-term solution for bio-solids facility odor issue

Savannah close to implementing long-term solution for bio-solids facility odor issue

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - An unpleasant issue that led several businesses along President Street in Savannah to appeal to the city to find a solution to a foul odor coming from the water reclamation facility.

In May 2019, Savannah City Council approved the emergency purchase of an odor control system for the President Street Bio-Solids Facility. That was meant to be a temporary solution, to buy time to come up with a permanent solution.

"A permanent solution has been installed, and that should be up and running within the next 30 days,” City of Savannah Senior Director of Communications Nick Zoller said.

The smell that some who work just downwind of the facility described as nauseating was caused by heated up waste sludge.

The dried out sludge is turned into pellets, which is much cheaper for the city to haul off than a heavy, wet by-product.

Zoller said the way the community spoke up and alerted city leaders to the on-going issue is exactly what Mayor Van Johnson's administration is looking for.

"The big thing here is that Mayor Johnson talks about bringing people to the table, engaging with the city, being involved in the city. This is a great example of that, that folks shared that there was a problem in their community, came to the city and gave us the opportunity to address that problem,” Zoller said.

One of the businesses just down President Street, one that originally talked to WTOC about the odor, says while it does still happen, it doesn’t happen as frequently. And they’re hoping once that new, permanent solution kicks in, that it takes out the odor altogether.

In June, the City modified an agreement with a contractor to include the design and construction of the odor-control system for the facility suitable for ongoing use. The odor control system is a two-stage chemical scrubber made from fiberglass reinforced plastic which includes a mist eliminator for each stage, blower, supply and interconnecting duct work, chemical re-circulation system, and instrumentation and local control panel.

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