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Unpleasant odor caused by facility's malfunctioning pump

By Katie Demeria

Strasburg residents complaining of a foul odor coming from Valley Milk Products are likely to have a reprieve within the next few days.

Jay McKinley, director of public works, said the town has been tracking the situation since it first began earlier this week.

The smell was caused by malfunctioning equipment within the 412 East King St. facility, according to McKinley.

"They have an equalization tank in their pretreatment area that circulates the product in that EQ tank while it's sitting there waiting to go through the facility, and that circulation pump broke down," he said.

McKinley has been in touch with the facility's general manager Mike Curtis, who said a new part has been installed.

"He anticipates the smell to decrease soon and eventually go away," McKinley said of a conversation he had with Curtis on Wednesday.

The town keeps up regular inspection of the facility, McKinley added. Strasburg officials test the discharge from the pretreatment plant every week to make sure the company is meeting discharge limits into the sewer.

While Valley Milk has had some history with tanks and pumps failing before, it has not been routine, McKinley pointed out.

The facility has acquired spare pumps to ensure this problem does not repeat itself. Now that the pump is up and circulating properly, McKinley added, the smell should dissipate.

Curtis was unavailable for comment Friday.

Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kdemeria@nvdaily.com

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