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Residents Near Alamo Complaining of Odors from Wastewater Plant

4 years 3 weeks 3 days ago Thursday, September 28 2017 Sep 28, 2017 September 28, 2017 9:20 PM September 28, 2017 in News

NEAR ALAMO – Residents living south of Alamo are saying they’ve had enough of the odors coming from a nearby wastewater treatment facility.

Geraldo Leal lives just outside of Alamo. He believes the offensive odors coming from the city's wastewater treatment facility are affecting his quality of life. He said spending time outdoors is difficult.

"I like to train my dogs also and I can't do it here," said Leal. "I have to go out somewhere, take them over there to train them."

The city has used the plant since the 1940s. Leal moved into his home more than a decade ago.

It services Alamo residents, but he lives in the county's jurisdiction.

At the time of his purchase, he didn't realize the plant's odor could be an issue.

"There's no activity you can do outside," said Leal. "I don't even like coming out cutting my yard. I had to hire somebody to come and do it because I can't stand the odor and smell of that."

Some of his neighbors filed formal complaints with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in 2016. The ensuing investigation resulted in TCEQ issuing the following violation:

"Failure to not discharge from any source whatsoever one or more air contaminants or combinations thereof, in such concentration and such duration as are or many tend to be injurious to or to adversely affect human health or welfare, animal life, vegetation, or property, or as to interfere with the normal use and enjoyment of animal life, vegetation, or property."

Alamo city manager Luciano Ozuna Jr. told CHANNEL 5 NEWS the city has taken measures to remedy the problem.

"The city has spent about one point seven million dollars in building what is called a head works," said Ozuna. "We bought some aerators for the lagoons so they can dissipate the odors coming from the lagoons."

He said the city is working on building an odorless mechanical plant to replace the current one. It could carry a price tag of almost $11 million.

"We submitted a full application to the Texas Water Development Board so that we can build a development plant," said Ozuna.

Pending approval the city could begin construction by the end of 2018. TCEQ is reviewing the city of Alamo's application for permit renewal.

Earlier in September, they referred the city's application to the State Office of Administrative Hearings.

They did so at the request of residents living near the plant. The hearing will be held in mid-to-late 2018.

Here residents and city officials will be able to make their case for why the city's permit for the lagoon system should or should not be renewed.

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