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Residents angry over sewage stench

Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (File photo)

Work to replace a sewage plant responsible for a “terrible smell” at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute is due to begin this month.

Neighbours of the Devonshire facility have complained about the odour for several years and raised concerns it was likely to get worse in the summer heat.

A Bermuda Hospitals Board spokeswoman said: “We have listened to MWI neighbours who had been in touch recently about the odour and we have already increased the chemical treatments to address the smell.

“We will continue to try and address the odour of the old plant during the build out of the new plant, as it will continue to operate until the new equipment is brought online in the fall.”

Brendan Lambert, who lives about 100 metres from the existing sewage treatment plant on Devon Spring Road, said the stench had been a problem since he moved there five years ago.

“It seems like it’s getting stronger — we get the full effect of it around evening time,” Mr Lambert said.

“It smells like something that comes from the toilet, like raw sewage.”

Mr Lambert said the strong odour forced his family to keep their windows closed and the air conditioning running “just to keep the air fresh”.

He would like to see the problem sorted out “not just for my family, but we have a lot of kids who play here and it’s a very unhealthy smell”.

Floyd Blankendal, who has lived on Devon Spring Road since 2010, said: “It’s a terrible smell throughout the day.”

Mr Blankendal added that while the plant smells in winter, it was especially bad in the summer, when he keeps his windows and doors open to let in a breeze.

He said that the odour seemed to be getting worse over the past couple of years.

A female resident, who lives nearby but asked not to be named, said that there was often a “terrible scent coming from that vicinity”.

Barbara Brown, the manager of The Barn thrift shop, which is opposite the sewage plant, said the smell came and went, adding: “It’s not pleasant for the shoppers but people are understanding.”

BHB announced that the contract for the new sewage plant had been awarded to Bermudian company BESCO in November last year.

A statement at the time said that the new unit, “a submerged, high-performance, aerated filter sewage treatment plant, has a filtered vent to eliminate any minor odour emissions.

“The new plant will utilise a proven technology in Bermuda and will produce a clean effluent, which poses no threat to the environment.”

The BHB spokeswoman said all relevant permits for the new sewage plant had been received and construction work was expected to start this month.

“We appreciate our neighbours’ ongoing patience as we complete the project,” she added.