Community works in concert to fix Sylacauga's smell

SYLACAUGA AL (WBRC) - Sylacauga residents who are sick of an odd smell that is spreading throughout the city are banding together to fight back.

They said the smell is coming from the REEF Environmental Wastewater Treatment Plant located just outside the city.

A group called, "Sylacauga Concerned Citizens for a Better Environment," held its first meeting Tuesday night.

Clara Curtis organized the meeting because she said the smell is not only impacting the city and residents, but is polluting nearby lakes and streams.

"This area is heavily populated with creeks, beautiful creeks, and some of the things going on inside them aren't really acceptable," said Curtis.

Sylacauga Mayor Sam Wright said REEF has covered two pools of water, and that has cut down on the smell substantially. But since the facility is located just outside of city limits, there isn't much he can do.

"We've been diligent as anybody has with monitoring the smell," said Mayor Wright, "We have been just as concerned as everyone else."

Sylacauga Residents said the smell is not only an annoyance, but has caused health problems for some. They said they aren't giving up until the smell is gone, and their quality of life returns.

"We just want it to stop," said Vicki Crowe, "We are tired of the smell, of being sick to our stomachs, the headaches, we are tired of nose bleeds, we want them to shut down and move on."

REEF plant officials would not comment on the situation.

The city of Sylacauga has a pending lawsuit against the company.

A hearing is scheduled for the end of March.