The stench of sewage wafting through the Woolen Mills neighborhood has sickened residents since the early 1900s. But after the completion of a 10-year and $10 million odor reduction project at the local wastewater treatment facility, project pioneers and neighbors came together to celebrate the fact that they can finally breathe easy again.
“I haven’t noticed the smell for a while now,” says longtime Woolen Mills resident and former city planning commissioner Bill Emory. “It’s a big deal.”
Emory got a shout-out from City Councilor Kathy Galvin, who doubles as a member of the Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority board, at the May 23 celebratory picnic in the city’s Riverside Park. They were just steps away from the wastewater treatment facility when she gave the longtime resident kudos for “sound[ing] the alarm” on the stench in 2008, and refusing to back down.