The Arlington stink

Those who live in, work and visit South Arlington near Four Mile Run will tell you something stinks.

The odor is coming from the Water Pollution Control Plant, which is undergoing repairs. The foul smell is part of the process.

“Day to day, it's a bother,” said Alison Mitek, an Arlington resident. She will often push her 6-month-old daughter Charlie away from the smell. “We keep the windows closed. Unfortunately we can't go out on the deck when we want to.”

Plant Operations Manager John Garrett says it may be two to three weeks before the system is where they hope it to be, and not sending out the odor of sulfur.

Neighbors like Mike Hood say he is coping with the odor - which he calls "rancid" - by staying in and closing his windows. The struggle to deal with the stink, however, is getting more difficult.

“When it's stale and no winds blowing it gets really rancid sometimes around here,” Hood said. “A sewer smell.”

The machinery that scrubs the odors from inside the plants ducts isn’t working. Now, work is underway to fix it. But it will take time. Garrett said the smell isn’t harmful – just unpleasant.

But the treatment plant shares its space with a huge area that was created for being outside. The odor issue comes just as the weather is improving and more people are enjoying the outdoors.

“Today's a beautiful day, a lot of people are out here,” said fisherman Brian Wilhoit. “If it gets worse a lot of people might go somewhere else to jog or ride their bike.”

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