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'Any complaints are too much' : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
'Any complaints are too much'
Sewer plant working to limit odors, Montgomery Board told

by John Etheredge


The Fox Metro Water Reclamation District is continuing its efforts to limit odors from its treatment plant just south of Montgomery, Tom Muth, Fox Metro manager, told the village board Monday evening.

Muth explained Fox Metro's odor control initiatives during a 10 minute PowerPoint presentation and said the plant, located along the west bank of the Fox River off Ill. Route 31, is in full compliance with all government regulations for its emissions.

Muth also told the board that residents who have a concern about plant odors can notify the agency on its website at foxmetro.dst.

To file an odor complaint, residents can click on "contact" on the website's home page and then a contact information and comment form will appear.

Muth's appearance before the board was prompted by a request made by Stan Bond, a board member last January.

At that time, Bond told his board colleagues he could smell odor from the plant while he drove on the U.S. Route 30 bridge, north of the plant site.

Knowing that Muth was scheduled to address the board Monday evening, Bond said he decided to drive past the plant prior to the meeting.

"There were 12 to 15 mph north to northwesterly winds and I detected a very slight odor," Bond said, adding, "But as you know I have detected stronger odors in the past that have reached as far away as the Wal-Mart retail center (on Orchard Road) which is a great concern to me since it is one of our most valued retail properties."

Bond said he would "continue to do what I can" to assist Fox Metro officials and promised to refer any odor complaints he receives directly to Muth.

"I appreciate that," Muth said.

Board member Andy Kaczmarek questioned how long Fox Metro had been accepting odor complaints on its website.

Muth said the website feature was created within the past six months.

When questioned by Bond, Muth said residents can also contact him with their concerns at his direct line at 630-301-6801, the agency's operations supervisor at 630-301-6828 or the operations maintenance foreman at 630-301-6840.

Kaczmark said he believes the plant emits "a lot of odor" and it "seems like there are a lot of complaints" concerning the odor.

Muth told Kaczmarek "any complaints are too much."

However, he also reminded the board, "We are a wastewater facility. We have had challenges over the last four years, first with the immense amounts of rain and then this past year with the dry (conditions)."

Board member Matt Brolley said he toured the Fox Metro plant about two years ago and has lived just north of the plant for the past five years on Case Street.

Brolley encouraged his board colleagues to tour the plant and said he believes odors from the plant have been reduced over the past two years as the agency has upgraded the plant.

"I think the odors do fluctuate, obviously, but I appreciate you (Muth) coming here today and I look forward to working with you in the future," he added.

Muth said he would welcome any board members who might want to tour the plant.

"Please, we would like you to visit us. That way we can answer more of your questions, show you more of our details and show you more of the process. We are very proud of the plant," he said.

In addition to the village, Fox Metro provides wastewater treatment service to Oswego, Aurora, North Aurora, Sugar Grove, the unincorporated Boulder Hill Subdivision, and portions of Yorkville and Batavia.

When the plant opened in the 1920s, it could treat up to eight million gallons of wastewater daily. Over the past 90 years, the plant has been expanded and modernized to meet more stringent water quality standards and can treat up to 42 million gallons of waste water daily, according to information provided by the agency.

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