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Neighborhood Sewage Smell
Neighbors say runoff from the new Harris Teeter in Asheville smells like sewage and they want it gone.
Residents say it's not constant but every once in a while you get a big surge of a sewage or garbage type smell.
They believe the runoff is from the Harris Teeter parking lot above, but the city says that's no longer the case and there isn't a problem.
For Five Points residents in Asheville, there is no clear answer at this point.
"It smells like sewage or some sort of stagnant water," said Benjamin Gillum.
Others are avoiding the area, "I just try not to step in it or let my dog step in it when I walk."
Many residents assume the smell comes from runoff from Harris Teeter.
"Well we hate it, the neighborhood has put up with a lot of stuff as the construction has gone on," said Gillum.
Keisha Lipe says there was a problem a week ago. As the storm water quality specialist, she inspected the site and found illicit discharge running through this pipe. It was coming from a leaking trash compactor up the road at Harris Teeter.
"The illicit discharge was coming out from the bottom of the trash compactor, leaking onto the asphalt. And going down into the grades," said Keisha Lipe, Storm Water Quality Specialist.
Cat litter was put around the trash compactor, it was repaired, and the sidewalk power washed.
"They did clean it up, there is no current slime, no odor."
Lipe says this is not city water and the source of this water is still unknown.
So what about that smell, a week after the cleanup?
"Their trash compactor is at the top of the hill, sometimes when the wind blows you can get a whiff of the trash compactor."
The city says that's a clear reason for the smell, while others still find it murky.
"I don't know how you would distinguish that smell from the smell of sewage it's really gross."
One resident is requesting the storm water drain be removed, to avoid any further problems. The city says they are working with Harris Teeter to identify the source of this water.
No fines have been issued, since the city says the store repaired the issue quickly.
In a statement from Harris Teeter, Communication Specialist Danna Jones says, "The issue was brought to our attention on Tuesday, Sept. 17 and was corrected on Wednesday, Sept. 18. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our Asheville community members, and we encourage those in our community to continue to provide us feedback as to how we can better serve them."