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Summer heat brings wastewater plant stink

By Tim Croft
The Star

Tuesday was not a kind day for the city of Port St. Joe and its wastewater system. 

In the morning, the Board of County Commissioners approved sending a letter to the city regarding complaints out of Highland View regarding the, um, odor, emitting from the city’s wastewater ponds. 

“We are all getting calls,” said Administrator Michael Hammond. 

At a noon workshop, Port St. Joe commissioners joined the conversation, discussing with Kevin Pettis, the supervisor of the wastewater department, issues and solutions. 

“It stinks,” said Mayor Rex Buzzett. 

The problem arises nearly every summer, especially with late summer heat, said City Manager Jim Anderson. 

Winds out of the south this time of year, putting the community of Highland View in the line of fire, so to speak, does not help the situation for those residents, Anderson said. 

“Kevin is investigating a possible source, but this happens every year with the summer heat and a lot of rain,” Anderson said. 

One possible issue raised during the city workshop was the dumping of grease into the system, but Anderson said the source is likely not to be known. 

A resolution may be found in the ongoing biological treatment of the ponds which the city contracted for last year. 

The treatments have already reduced the algae, the primary source of the stink and which normally proliferates in summer heat and rain. 

Pettis was to add some “bio dots” to the ponds in the coming days as a way of attacking the immediate problem, but Anderson said those will take three or four days to have full impact.