We have received several emails and Facebook messages over the past few weeks about the smell in in the east lower avenues and Hector Street area. The smell originates from the sewage plant that is located along the one way section of East Elm.
Smelly sewage and Conshohocken have a long history. According to this article from the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1988, residents had to stay inside over the summer to avoid the smell. And then there is this article from from 1989, reporting on Conshohocken building a new sewage facility and how Conshy had been pumping all types of undesirable things into the river and getting in trouble for it.
In 1994, the Inquirer reported on the smell again and the input from a consultant who researched the smell. It read:
Jenifer Fields, a sanitary engineer for the state Department of Environmental Resources who serves as a consultant to Conshohocken, said placing further limits on industrial and commercial companies will not do away with the odor.
She does believe that the concentration of sewage entering the plant is the problem.
“We haven’t figured out what exactly is causing the odor, but it is something that’s coming into the plant,” she said. “It’s not from an operation problem. I go there on a weekly basis, and everything is running normally. And it’s not something the plant can change to stop it.”
Fields said workers are researching odor neutralizing systems that might be installed on the first tank, which, she said, is the source of the odor.
The smell then made the papers again in 1996 and according to the then Borough’s Solicitor, some people actually got sick from the smell, and one resident talks about being to embarrassed to have friends over for dinner.
If you go back to the 1980’s, there was an article about how the proposed office towers and hotel would be allocated use of the sewage facility.
So all of these articles are shared to show that this is not a new problem. Long time residents will be able to tell us if it has gotten better or worse (feel free to comment).
So if you want to let yours thoughts known on the smell, the Borough’s website states the following:
For odor complains, please contact:
·Conshohocken Authority at 610-828-0979 (leave a message if no answer)
·PA Department of Environmental Protection Southeast Regional Office at 484-250-5900