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Scio Township tackles Ann Arbor sewer gas problem

Complaints by Ann Arbor residents have prompted Scio Township to look into an odor problem originating with the township's waste system. Sewage pumped from Scio Township's wastewater treatment system enters Ann Arbor's system near the corner of Arborview Boulevard and Miller Avenue. At times, especially on hot summer days, the sewage produces a powerful odor that residents say forces them to stay indoors.

Phyllis Valentine lives on Arborview. She says the smell has been a problem on and off since she bought her home in 1989, but it seems to be getting worse recently. "It means we can't open our front window," Valentine says. "We don't have central air conditioning."

After a number of complaints, Ann Arbor promised to attempt some temporary remediation, such as closing up the holes in manhole covers. However, the primary responsibility for the problem lies with Scio Township.

Scio Supervisor Spaulding Clark says the sewer lines have been in service for a long time, and the township does not yet know why the odor has become worse. Prompted by complaints from Ann Arbor, it has contracted with an engineering firm to look for solutions. A report is expected within the next week.