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POMPANO (CBSMiami) – The smell is hard to take.
Dead fish, turtles, fecal matter, you name it.
It’s been going on in Pompano since January 4th when an FDOT contractor damaged a 42-inch pressurized sewer pipe.
Since then there has been a scramble to cap the damaged pipe, repair it and deal with the smell that’s all around Southwest 15th Street and I-95.
“The smell, they have not done anything about the smell,” said resident Terrance Lagree.
It’s a 24-7 problem that’s wafting out of the canal contaminated with raw sewage.
There have been more than a few complaints of people feeling sick from the smell.
“We could no finish the walk, the smell was so bad, like now,” said Marquita Castle. “You can smell it in the air, dead fish and whatever.”
On Wednesday, the second of two town meetings took place.
A crowd of about 140 concerned citizens seeking answers from elected officials and experts, who cautioned it will take time for the potential health threat and smell to dissipate due to the 39 million gallons of raw sewage that flowed into the canal.
The strategy is to help nature take care of the problem, the natural bacteria and microbes need to do the job.
“They will break that down and use it for food,” explained Pompano Beach Mayor Red Hardin. “When you have this much biological material, the microbes get overwhelmed so there is not enough oxygen to let the microbes to their job.”
The city is hanging its hat on the aerators, 76 of them pulling oxygen into the foul water providing a healthy environment for the beneficial bacteria.
“To add oxygen to the water and let the microbes to take care of the spill naturally,” said Hardin.
The city and Broward County is conducting daily tests.
Officials tell residents at the town meeting that the water is getting better, but as far as the canal there are some locals who feel it’s a lost cause.
“We used to go back there fishing,” said Legree. “Can’t fish now. We can’t fish back there. It is contaminated.”