Local residents are calling for additional odor control measures at the Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant in Wantagh after neighborhoods around the facility experienced odorous conditions in recent months.
Officials from the Nassau County Department of Public Works (DPW), which operates the plant, said during a Cedar Creek Oversight Committee meeting held Wednesday night that they received "an unprecedented" number of complaints about odor during the summer including 42 in August alone. A report delivered during the meeting held inside the administration building of the plant stated that many scrubbers at the sewage treatment facility needed to be offline in the summer during an installation of storage tanks, which is required every five years. The installation work took place during the summer in consideration of the plant being located near both Mandalay Elementary School in Wantagh and Seaford Harbor School, DPW officials said.
Residents who attended the Cedar Creek Oversight Commitee meeting complained that the odors from the summer at the plant have continued on certain days in the fall as well including Wednesday night.
"I'm frustrated and disgusted," said Seaford resident Andrew Cusumano during the meeting. "Something needs to be done."
Nassau County Legis. Dave Denenberg, D-Merrick, whose 19th district covers the area where the plant is located, attended Wednesday night's meeting and asked why more funding allocated for odor control improvements has not been allocated. Denenberg said of $26.9 million authorized in 2009 for odor control improvements at the Cedar Creek and Bay Park plants, only $419,265 has been spent.
Nassau County DPW spokesman Mike Martino said during the meeting his office will look into why more funding has not been allocated toward odor improvements at the Cedar Creek plant and if that can be changed.
Complaints about odors emanating from the Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant comes as Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano presses forward with sewage privatization plans that involves the Wantagh facility despite the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA) rejecting his proposed contract with Morgan Stanley to broker a deal for the public-private partnership. Prior to NIFA’s ruling, Mangano’s plan involved selecting Harrington Park, N.J.-based United Water as a potential operator for the county’s sewage treatment system for at least 20 years.