2013-11-29 / Front Page

Air Fresheners Planted

By Dan Guarino

Fencing in the smell at Rockaway Wastewater Treatment Plant on Beach Channel Drive. Fencing in the smell at Rockaway Wastewater Treatment Plant on Beach Channel Drive. A widespread stink in early October from the Sewage Treatment Plant on Beach Channel Drive, led to calls to 311, visits from local electeds, letters to The Wave and Facebook outrage and disgust.

Some help is on the way including real life air fresheners in the form of 72 trees.

According to the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the plant processes an average of 18 million gallons of wastewater for the entire Rockaway peninsula. Since the complaints, the DEP reported that their personnel has “made some operational changes to the treatment process to help to better contain odors” and has been successful in reducing off-site odors. The challenge according to the DEP is a “flow problem” and that the “design capacity” of the plant is too big and it “takes a long time for sewage to make it to the plant.” The slow travel time makes for foul odors.

Previously it was reported that “the primary tank effluent launders and the aerator influent distribution channel were the most odorous locations.”

DEP has now issued a contract to Hallsten Corporation, which has done similar work on the Owls Head plant in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, to address those problems. The target date for the completion of the work is May 30th, 2014.

As for those trees, planting was started on Tuesday, November 26th. A DEP representative said, “There will be 72 of them, holly and pine, which can grow to more than 20 feet tall.”

One passerby said the trees weren’t working yet.

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