What’s that stink?
It seems the City of Sparta has an offensive gas problem; so don’t blame the dog.
That unmistakable foul odor lingering in the air as of late is caused by methane gas being released from the sewer plant at the end of Richgruber Road on the La Crosse River.
Sparta Co-City Administrator Todd Fahning told the city council Wednesday that an equipment breakdown at the wastewater treatment plant has resulted in the gas, a byproduct of the waste treatment process, going straight into the atmosphere.
Unfortunately, he added, the cold weather that has descended on the region has created a situation where the methane has been trapped closer to the ground.
The city is working with the Department of Natural Resources, which has granted it a temporary waiver to release the gas, and the city’s engineering firm to address the problem.
The problem is caused by a broken-down boiler system that heats the gas and a torch that burns it off. The age of the equipment is the biggest factor preventing repairs.
“They are very old and outdated parts you can’t get anymore,” said Fahning.
He added that Wastewater Treatment Plant Manager Dale Passehl has been working diligently to fix the problem and expects repairs to be completed by this weekend.
“It’s been our number-one priority… getting that corrected as soon as possible,” said Fahning.