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City's sludge odor irks neighbors

May 31, 2011 at 12:33 PM

ROCK HILL, S.C., May 31 (UPI) -- The owner of a South Carolina day care and neighbors say sludge spread on farmlands by their city is causing a foul smell in their area.

Melanie Cook, who runs a day care at her Rock Hill home, said she has to bring the children inside every time the smell wafts through the neighborhood, the Rock Hill Herald reported Tuesday.

"For the past month we haven't taken a single walk in the wagon," Cook said.

The odor comes from nearby farmland where the city spreads biosolids, commonly referred to as sludge, from the Manchester Creek wastewater treatment facility.

Cook and her neighbors are trying to convince the city to find another way to dispose of the sludge.

Resident Jerry Conway said the city's actions represent "a profound example between what is legal and what is right."

"It's not OK for these folks to have a privilege that infringes on my rights," he said.

Joe Faris, regional program manager for the state Department of Health and Environmental Control's regional environment quality control office in Lancaster, said officials will have "conversations" with city leaders about their odor control plan.

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