Macek Demands Faster Action on ‘Stench’ Relief

Calls Wastewater Matter 'Quality of Life' Issue

At least one Haverhill city councilor is backing residents who want a quick end to the ongoing “stench” issue at the Haverhill wastewater plant.

Haverhill City Councilor William J. Macek told WHAV that while councilors have been assured the air quality is not hazardous to humans, the lingering smell has become a quality of life issue.

“They need to do everything they can, around the clock, to get this situation remedied. This is a quality of life issue, that's what it is. It's not just the immediate neighbors, but it's people within miles, that actually have reported that.., depending which way the wind's blowing, both sides of the river are getting hit,” Macek said.

According to the Haverhill Department of Public Works, Mayor James J. Fiorentini has directed them to “treat this as a public health emergency and to take any steps necessary to remediate this problem as quickly as possible.” Steps being taken include chemical misting over aeration tanks, adding chlorine in various locations as needed, and additional staff to operate longer days and weekends for quicker sludge processing and removal. Macek said he believes the plant is operated by a “strong group of professionals” and the recent repairs for two processing basins could not be foreseen through routine maintenance.

“The long time it has taken to remedy the situation is what concerns me. I would like to think that they are doing everything as quickly as possible. And that it is just because of the turn of events, a situation where there is an elongated period of time to get things back to normal,” Macek said.

Macek said the council will revisit the issue during their next regular meeting Tuesday night.