Weatherford Democrat

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June 16, 2013

Raising a stink

While residents complain of the smell, other environmental concerns are aired over spraying of treated sewage on acres of pastureland

(Continued)

“We don’t go into Parker County very much,” Davis said, adding that it is difficult because of all the traffic lights.

Concerns

Randy Williams, who lives on Arbor Trail, about a quarter mile away from the area being treated, said they noticed the smell the day after Memorial Day.

“It smelled like a hundred cattle died,” Williams said, adding that they couldn’t go out on the porch because of the strong, obnoxious odor.

The odor fluctuates with the wind, according to Williams. 

Like others, Williams doesn’t believe the sludge is safe and is concerned about the runoff into Browder Creek, which cuts through the property.

“I can’t believe our government officials let something like this [occur],” Williams said, saying he wants the site remediated.

“This is a horrible thing,” Williams said. “Laws have to change.”

Parker County Commissioner George Conley has been working to stop the application after responding more than two weeks ago to a complaint from a down-wind friend, who lives north of U.S. Highway 199.

Following the smell about four miles south, Conley estimated, he found the source of the odor he described as smelling like a dead cow.

Conley said he called the county fire marshal and judge about the issue, only to find out the process is legal.

“I don’t like it,” Conley said. “I don’t think it’s safe.”

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality reported receiving nine complaints from Parker County residents in recent weeks, while Conley said he received 50 to 100 complaints about the issue.

One TCEQ complainant stated that they couldn’t eat or go outside because of the unbearable stench, that the smell makes them feel sick and there were flies by the millions.

Another complainant stated they cancelled a planned outside event because of the smell.

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