Crews providing relief to smelly situation

Eddie Garcia
November 16, 2016 10:48 AM

No one needs to explain the sour scent of sewer to Councilor Ken Sanchez.


"I grew up right near Yucca [Drive] and Central [Avenue], and that smell was a problem for over four decades, 40 years," he said.

Ask anyone who lives or works in the area, and they'll back-up Sanchez's claim.

"The first year I was there, I had company and I was so embarrassed because the whole house just smelled like poop,” said Peggy Robinson. “It was awful."

"Sometimes it was worse than other times," added Frank Pais.

"Businesses have been closing down and shutting down because of the smell," said Kenneth Cutrer.

Now crews are shutting down city streets in the area to repair the problem from the bottom up. It's a day that County Commissioner Art De La Cruz said he thought he'd never see.

"But it finally came, and so this is an amazing win today for the community," he said.

According to city engineers, the sewer odor wafts up as hydrogen sulfide gas through utility holes and outlets. The fix will employ "vortex flow inserts," which will be placed throughout the area.

The whole point of the vortex system is to funnel the gasses back underground to keep them from escaping to the surface, and engineers are hoping that gets rid of the smell. New sewer and water lines will go in, as well as new fire hydrants and freshly paved roads.

The fix, of course, will mean even more construction in an area already reeling with nearby Albuquerque Rapid Transit construction on Central Avenue.

"Construction is construction,” Robinson said. “Let's just hope that everything works out.”

"You have to give them time and maybe all this will be well worth it," added Cutrer.

Many living in the area say they are wishing construction crews speedy success.

"Well, I hope it works," Pais said.


Eddie Garcia

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