Edgartown selectmen nose into wastewater plant issues


Edgartown selectmen heard complaints Monday from a Hye Road resident about odors from the nearby wastewater treatment plant.

Bert Jamgochian said odors are stronger this year than in years past. He wanted to know why the smell stopped after he made phone calls to wastewater district commissioners, selectmen, and plant operators.

“Monday night I had a horrendous smell. I ate dinner, went outside and threw up,” Mr. Jamgochian told selectmen. “Tuesday, from that night on, I thought I was in the Swiss Alps, no smell at all.”

Wastewater commission chairman Tim Conley acknowledged two problems this year. The first was an operator mistake that plant workers corrected quickly. The second was on a humid day when the plant was operating at a high volume during the busiest part of the summer.

“Our levels are going up,” Mr. Conley said. “There are particular times of the day when our levels are at a maximum.” Mr. Conley said increasing flow is an issue the town needs to begin watching closely.

Health agent Matt Poole proposed establishing a procedure where someone other than wastewater plant workers respond to odor complaints, because plant workers may not have the same sensitivity to the smell as someone outside the facility.

“They know your name, they know your issue,” selectman Michael Donaroma told Mr. Jamgochian. “I think you might possibly get a better response.”

In other matters, town administrator Pam Dolby said Irie Bites, a new food truck that operates outside Nectar’s several nights each week, has become an issue for police.

“There are large crowds gathered there after hours,” Ms. Dolby said. “They’ve had loud music, the party continues after the concert. There have been a few fights.”

Ms. Dolby said Nectar’s alcohol license covers its parking lots. “Technically, the parking lot is no different than inside the building,” Ms. Dolby told selectmen. “If you enforce the liquor license, everybody has to be cleared out by 1 am.” Selectmen asked her to work with police and Nectar’s management to address the issue.

Also Tuesday, Ms. Dolby urged homeowners to take advantage of building energy audits offered by Cape Light Compact. She said residents have used only 14 percent of the money set aside for Edgartown residents. Information about energy audits, which can include discount appliances, and free energy-saving products, is available by calling Cape Light Compact at 1-800-797-6699.