5 On Your Side: Foul odor in Edinburg neighborhood upsetting residents

1 year 2 weeks 4 days ago Monday, November 14 2022 Nov 14, 2022 November 14, 2022 6:57 PM November 14, 2022 in News - 5 On Your Side

Residents near Edinburg are asking for help in figuring out why they have been smelling an extremely bad odor lately.

Lurena Horner has lived in the neighborhood off of Curry Road and South Doolittle St. for two years now. After dealing with an extreme odor for the last six months, she reached out to Channel 5 to investigate.

“Sometimes the smell is so strong, it even wakes you up from your sleep,” Horner said.

The neighborhood is about three miles away from the wastewater plant. Residents say they have to take their backyard barbecues indoors because the smell is unbearable.

The city of Edinburg says workers went to the area, but didn't smell anything. The city also sent a statement to Chanel 5 News that reads, "The city of Edinburg conducts regular maintenance, repairs, and upgrades at all our treatment facilities. However, based on your comments, we will continue to investigate and assess any additional measures that may be taken to mitigate potential or future issues. Any findings will be addressed accordingly.”

Residents think they have an idea why it’s been bad lately.

“We have a lot of new homes coming in, which is wonderful for the city because it creates taxes,” Horner said. “But it also means that they need to enlarge the sewer facilities to manage the waste and the smell from the waste.”

Horner says she requested an air quality test from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and she’s waiting for someone to come out.

Channel 5 News also reached out to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which said that the smell neighbors are experiencing is likely a sulfur compound like hydrogen sulfide. Read the entire statement below:

“Most often the smell associated with sewage plants is caused by sulfur compounds like hydrogen sulfide. These chemicals cause a very unpleasant rotten-egg like odor. Sometimes people who experience these odors can have health effects just from the odor (called indirect health effects) like headache and nausea. Those effects go away after the smell is gone. Compounds like hydrogen sulfide can also cause direct health effects like respiratory irritation, but those occur at concentrations much higher than the levels that cause bad odor. Therefore, levels that cause odors are not necessarily causing health effects.” 

Channel 5 News will follow up with the city and keep you updated on what will be done.

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