'They're burning poop': Lowell biodigester stinks up school neighborhood

The biodigester is closed but a strong smell in the neighborhood persists.

LOWELL, MICH. - Oozing sludge had been falling out of the troubled biodigester -- it's temporarily closed, but a strong smell in the neighborhood persists.

The owner of the facility said he is continuing to work toward a solution, but parents who's children attend a nearby elementary school say they're fed up.

"We walked out the door and he was like, 'Mom, that smell, they're burning poop,'" Amanda Stratton said.

But that's not the smell of burning poop -- it's coming from the biodigester facility.

"It just stinks, it's really awful," Stratton said.

More: 2 new biodigester failures cause bad smell in Lowell; company fined $300 a day

The sewage smelling odor has been well documented for months, and has been shut down, temporarily. On Monday, Nov, 29, Stratton said her son complained of the smell while he was in school.

"It's just really unpleasant and uncomfortable and it's not something you expect to smell when you walk up to a school," Stratton said.

The smell is obviously worse outside.

"It smells worse on their playground so we had walked over with him and let him play and it just kept getting worse," Stratton said.

Pamela Krzysik lives next door to the elementary school. She keeps candles lit in her home.

"We keep those going pretty frequently because of the smell," Krzysik said.

She said the whole situation has become more than a frustration.

"When people come over to your home it's embarrassing, because the whole topic of your conversation is the smell that's lingering outside and inside," Krzysik said.

Krzysik just wants something to be done for her neighborhood.

"Lowell has their attorneys, the biodigester people have their attorneys but the citizens who are suffering have nobody," Krzysik said. "We don't have anybody up there saying, 'Hey this is wrong' other than us.".

Stratton said if the smell continues, she doesn't want her son to be exposed to it.

"My husband and I, we've talked about it at home, and if we keep smelling it we'd like to talk to about what's going to be done and how it's going to affect anything for our kids," Stratton said.

We did reach out to the superintendent for Lowell public schools, he declined to go on camera but did say the smell is a big inconvenience for teachers and students, and wants the city to take care of the problem as quickly as possible. 

(© 2016 WZZM)


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