City of Mission's wastewater treatment plant causing bad odor

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Off the corner of Abelino Farias Street and South Conway Avenue, the city’s only wastewater treatment plant has been operating since the early 1950s. The neighborhoods in the area were built decades after that.

“It always smells really bad through there. I’ve only been here a couple of months, but I know it’s been like a couple of years,” said one resident. “My uncle use to live here it’s been for a while.”

Mission Assistant City Manager John Paul Terrazas says because of the open carousels, where the water gets slushed around and treated, the wind may be a main factor why residents are smelling the rancid odors. 

“The water, the sewer where everything collects in that area,” Terrazas said. “All of the city of Mission goes and collects to that treatment plant.”

The plant is capable of treating 13.5 million gallons of wastewater and sewage water daily. That’s approximately 2.2 billion gallons a year of wastewater that uses ultraviolet light to disinfect the water instead of using chlorine.

“Naturally, you’re always going to have that smell in that area, but constantly we add chemicals, odor control, to alleviate some of those bad odors,” Terrazas said.

All of the operations of this plant follow strict monitoring by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and federal agencies to ensure the tap water is safe to drink.

Residents say although they see the color of the water clear, they are concerned that the water is not safe because of the smell.

The city of Mission says the water is completely safe and it will continue to monitor the issue on a daily basis.

On Tuesday, the city added extra odor chemicals to contain the smell.

City officials also want to assure residents that adding more of these chemicals to the plant will not increase the cost of water.

Mission residents who notice an issue with the water are asked to call (956) 580-8780.


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