Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Engineers will try to determine cause of sewer smell in Largo's Paradise Island mobile home park

LARGO — There's something ironic about a mobile home community called "Paradise Island" that is 6 miles inland and sandwiched between another mobile home community and a busy county road.

The irony is deepened by the odor of sewage that Paradise Island residents say they sometimes smell as they walk along Caribbean Way, Antigua Lane, Barbados Lane and other similarly named roads in the 828-unit park.

The roads are named for places that engender images and sensations of the beach — palm trees and pina coladas, maybe the smell of a sunbather using too much sunscreen, but certainly not this stench.

So the residents and park management, who firmly believe that this funk is not their fault, have fought Largo city management for years to admit that the smell might be caused by the city. Last year they won a victory when the city agreed to fund a third-party study of the area's odor.

Later this summer, a Louisville, Ky., environmental engineering firm will start a $60,700 study designed to answer a question that has plagued Paradise Island residents for years: "What is that smell?"

• • •

The smell, according to Paradise Island park manager Nancy Perry, has been a problem since at least the late 1990s. Perry thinks the smell's source is a gully that runs north-south between Paradise Island and Fairway Village, the 751-home community to the east.

Paradise Island's wastewater lines tie into the city's system at two points along the gully, and a 2009 sinkhole there spurred Perry to action. She asked Largo management to pay the $15,000 repair tab, because she thought the city's sewer lines caused the corrosion that led to the collapse.

City management initially turned her away, Perry said, claiming the problem was in the park's system. She went to her Fairway Village neighbors, though, and brought people from both communities to City Commission meetings, demanding action.

Perry brought laminated pictures of sewer pipes in the gully and pointed to spots of white and yellowish decay as evidence of corrosion.

She scored a victory last fall when city management agreed to pay for an odor and corrosion control study.

"We went to every single meeting, pounding away," she said Tuesday with pride. "I think they saw a growing tide. And I was not going to give up."

• • •

"This has taken a long time," Mayor Pat Gerard said as she introduced the proposed study for discussion at last week's City Commission meeting.

Environmental Services director Irvin Kety explained to the commissioners that the complexity of the study, and finding the right company, delayed the process. The study's scope has widened to include areas around 142nd and 150th avenues between Lake Avenue and 58th Street.

Commissioner Harriet Crozier asked Kety whether the engineering company — Webster Environmental — will test Paradise Island's systems as well.

"We hired them specifically because their focus is only on odor issues in wastewater collection systems," Kety told Crozier. "If he feels that their well is an important component, he will include that in his sampling recommendations."

Webster engineers will take samples this summer, Kety told the commission, and city staffers will update commissioners in October. Webster engineers probably will want to test during the winter as well, so the study won't be complete until next spring.

Once done, staff members expect Webster engineers to pinpoint the source of the odor and provide a number of ways to neutralize it and any corrosion problems.

Largo management has not said the smell is definitely the city's fault, but Perry sees the fact that they're paying $60,700 for the study as a win.

"I'd like to think that we're going to help a lot of people," Perry said. "I just hate to think you have to fight so hard to get somebody to listen to you."

Will Hobson can be reached at (727) 445-4167 or whobson@sptimes.com.

Engineers will try to determine cause of sewer smell in Largo's Paradise Island mobile home park 07/26/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 5:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)

    World

    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  2. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  3. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  4. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.
  5. Big cases, retirement rumors as Supreme Court nears finish

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court enters its final week of work before a long summer hiatus with action expected on the Trump administration's travel ban and a decision due in a separation of church and state case that arises from a Missouri church playground.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy will be turning 81 next month.