What's that smell?

SD1 strives to prevent sewage-related odors, but sometimes these odors still occur. If you suspect an odor is related to SD1 facilities or sewer construction, please call 859-578-7450, option 1, to report the odor

Is it your property? Check your house and yard.

If you smell a sewage-like odor in your home, it could be caused by your home’s plumbing or other neighborhood activities.
  • If you’re in an older home, your drain traps might be dry. Try running clean water down your drains to eliminate the odor. And, don’t forget any basement or floor drains, which are common culprits.
  • You may smell sewage in your home if there’s damage to the plumbing on your property. You may need to call SD1 or a licensed plumber to help you diagnose the problem.
  • Landscaping materials, especially mulch, can give off an odor that’s often confused with sewage. If the odor is due to recently laid mulch, the odor should go away within a few days.

Is it SD1? Call 859-578-7450 to report.

Sewage odors may occur near SD1’s treatment plants and pump stations or at sewer manholes and catch basins. These odors are usually caused by stagnant water or prolonged hot or dry weather. They also can occur when there’s not enough oxygen, which is needed to allow natural reactions that limit odors.

Rotting odors may occur near detention basins or other storm water control features if water has become stagnant, likely because the feature is clogged by debris. 

Resin odors may occur near construction projects where SD1 is fixing deteriorating sewer pipes. Typically, these odors dissipate within a few hours when exposed to fresh air.

Preventing odors is our goal.

Odors can occur at many points in the sewer system, but odors at our treatment plants, pump stations, manholes and catch basins are most common. 

At our plants and pump stations, we can add chlorine, hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals to manage odors. When possible, we also cover the sewage stream as it moves into and through the plants and spray down tanks with fresh water when they’re drained for maintenance.

Biofilters work to trap odors instead of emitting them at Eastern Regional Water Reclamation Facility. 

At some of our plants we also use biofilters that look like mulch beds but work to trap odors instead of emitting them. As wastewater enters a treatment plant, the gases it gives off are vacuumed away and sent through the biofilters. There, bacteria that’s naturally in the biofilters consumes the matter in the gases that causes odors.

Before sewage gets to our treatment plants, it goes through a vast network of pipes that’s punctuated by manholes and catch basins. When we learn of an odor problem at a manhole or catch basin, we may add clean water or pine oil to eliminate it. In some instances, we can add a temporary liner or a deodorizer to keep the odors from escaping.
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