Wastewater lagoon blamed for Exit 4 odor
Whether they live in the area or are simply passing through, folks traveling around Exit 4 off Interstate 93 are keeping their windows rolled up these days, though few seem to know why.
Londonderry resident Cheryl Haas, who travels the highway regularly on her commute to the Windham Town Recreation office, said the odor has gotten increasingly more potent over the past several days. “It just gets worse the closer you get to Exit 4,” Haas said. “A lot of people have been asking about it.”
“The sewage smell around Exit 4 is unreal,” Sarah Pomeroy added.
“Is anything being done?” Scott Bonfanti asked. “This is getting ridiculous.”
“Sorry, but there’s nothing we can do about it, other than hold our noses,” Smith said this week.
Wastewater flows into the outdoor lagoon throughout the year, with organic waste settling in as part of the turnover process. During the spring season, as the water gets warmer, wastes in the form of a sledge are drawn to the surface, where the “fragrant” hydrogen sulfide gases are released into the air after many months of inactivity, allowing Mother Nature to do the rest.
“Several weeks ago the levels dropped,” he said. “So we’ve been aerating that area to help break down the wastes faster. The lagoon is doing what it’s supposed to do, but for some reason the smell is definitely more pronounced right now.”
Carrier said the foul odors occur each year around this time, though this season has certainly been one for the record books.