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Tenth Street Residents Hold Nose to Mystery Odor

8:31 PM, Jan 18, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE , Fla. -- Gloria Johnson has lived on West 10th  street since 1971, but said for the last last few months it has been unbearable.

"It is very, very foul and you can hardly sit out in the evenings when it is warm, you can hardly sit outside," said Johnson.

There is a mystery stench in the air that makes it hard to breathe said Johnson. "It smells like raw sewage, it almost takes your breath away."

Residents on West 10th Street have been holding their noses to the smell for months. It started in November, but they said they waited to report it to the city until December.

"It just got worse," she said.

They don't know if it is methane gas or untreated sewage, but they believe the stench is coming from the storm drains.

The city agency responsible for water and sewer is the JEA.  Spokesperson Gerri Boyce said it was unaware of the problem until Jan. 13. "We are investigating. One of the things we're looking at is we recently replaced a gravity fed line with a force fed line," said Boyce.

"We don't know if that is the reason but it is one of the things we're looking at right now."

She said until they know the cause of the foul odor,  the utility has decided to seal several manholes.

"Yesterday, we sealed 21 of these manholes; today we're sealing the rest of those manholes. Hopefully, this make a difference for those customers until we get to the root cause of this odor," said Boyce.

Johnson hopes the JEA finds out what's causing the smell soon. "We just want it resolve because as I said I can hardly sit in my living room; at night it is in my bathroom," said Johnson.

Boyce said if the complaints were filed directly with the JEA, instead of the city, the utility would have responded sooner.

She said JEA customers should always complain to the JEA first at 904-665-6000. 

First Coast News

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