Veteran's Park Odor Creates Blame Game

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CALLAWAY - A deadly gas coming from the Veterans Park sewage lift station is at the center of a "blame game" between Callaway and Bay County officials. The gas, hydrogen sulfide, can be toxic.

There's been a foul odor coming from the lift station at Veterans Park in Callaway for more than a decade.

It's part of the Advanced Water Treatment Facility owned by Callaway, Springfield, Parker, and Bay County. Bay County is the operator.

County officials have conducted studies that show high levels of the deadly hydrogen sulfide gas.

"There's no question about where the smell is coming from, the smell is coming from the wet well, which is part of the lift station and by the AWT agreement, that's the county," said Thomas Abbott, Callaway Mayor.

"I agree that it is Callaway's system. It would be Callaway's responsibility to address it and attempt to mitigate it," said Paul Lackemacher, Bay County Utility Services Director.

County officials say one test showed hydrogen sulfide levels of more than 1300 parts per million, 13 times higher than an acceptable level.

Callaway city officials believe the lift station's flawed design is at fault. County officials blame Callaway's pipe and collections system for the problem.

"If the problem that already exists by the time it gets to that lift station, it's already created," said Lackemacher.

"You have a properly designed and constructed wet well, it handles that. You have a properly designed and functioning odor control system, engineers will tell you that is an effective way to deal with hydrogen sulfide levels," said Abbott.

Representatives from the four owners will be meeting Tuesday to talk about who is financially responsible for the wet well repairs, which could cost as much as $600,000.