Edmond residents concerned about human waste sludge stench and road conditions

EDMOND, Okla. - “The stench was so terrible this year,” said concerned resident George Moore.

Moore lives right across the road from a 44-acre farm in Edmond.

The farmer made an agreement with the City of Edmond, allowing them to inject treated human waste into their land.

“The biosolids are tested for fecal coliform, metals, a number of constituents so we can assure the residents out in that area that it is safe,” said Director of Water Resources Kris Neifing.

City employees say the sludge is treated, but the odor is normal.

They say it's a process that's been happening with this specific farmland for 10 years.

Overall, they've been doing it for at least 30.

This year, they've made agreements to inject the sludge into about eight total farms.

“The farmers actually ask us for this because it is a good nutrient source instead of applying fertilizer,” said Neifing.

Moore says the stench this year is the worst he's experienced, raising concerns from those who live in his neighborhood.

He also says despite their injecting process, he can still see sludge above the surface.

“We’ve got nice outdoors, we’ve got a swimming pool, but during that period of time we didn’t even want to be outside the smell was so bad,” said Moore.

The numbers may seem huge, but employees say they are normal for this amount of land.

The land they inject into is tested through Oklahoma State University before any of this process begins.

“We’ve taken 1.25 million gallons to a 44-acre field,” said supervisor Ruben Ayala. “We’re injecting it- so the tractor is injecting at about 800 gallons a minute.”

“It’s very minimal and it dries out very quick because they’re injecting 8-12 inches beneath the surface,” said Neifing.

Another main concern, Moore says, is the condition of NE 164th St.

He says since the trucks starting hauling the sludge to and from the farm off the road, it's gotten progressively worse.

He says there have been two fatal wrecks on the road in the past 4 years.

“Our biggest concern is the road, and safety of people traveling the road,” he said.

Moore says he understands the process but is hoping for some relief soon.

“The stench- the smell we understand, they’ve got a permit, we’re all for permits being legal, but I think our biggest concern is our road,” said Moore.

City employees say the process should finish up in the next couple of weeks, depending on the weather.

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