Company Denies Work Caused Landfill Stink
By: Diana T. Barth
Steven Boyd, owner and principal of Waterhouse Road-based Hydros—the company that entered into a 2007 contract with the Bourne landfill to find a low-cost microbial solution to controlling the odor-causing hydrogen sulfide gas coming from the facility—visited the Bourne Board of Health on Wednesday.
Mr. Boyd, who emphatically said his company’s efforts reduced the smell of gas, not increased it, came informally before the board, offering information on the project, which he said was not “experimental.
”The owner of three separate companies that use similar technologies to attack different problems, including denitrification, Mr. Boyd said he wanted to correct what he said was incorrect information. He started by saying his company did not treat 14 acres of the landfill, but instead introduced microbes into a small area about 600 feet long and three feet deep along the ridge of the north slope of the facility, some half-mile away from where the hydrogen sulfide stink is at its strongest.
He said they were contained in a half-inch PVC pipe that dripped water and the microbes into the soil. He said that, similar to fertilizer, they did not travel far from the pipe. He also said they died when they ceased being “fed” with a chemical solution.
Mr. Boyd showed a table of readings that indicated that the area that was treated had a drop of 21 percent in hydrogen sulfide production, as compared with a rise of four times the original number in the south end, which was untreated.
He said the project stopped in 2009, because landfill management was cost-cutting and wanted to put their resources elsewhere.Mr. Boyd told the board that he first became interested with the landfill a decade ago, when Roland J. Dupont, a former Bourne selectman, came to him with a bag filled with materials and asked him why it stank.
He said all landfills in the nation that accepted construction and demolition materials, particularly the “fines,” or fine particles of the material, were experiencing similar odors.
Mr. Boyd said the microbes introduced into the landfill by his company were from 16 different species, but that none of them contained, or were capable of creating, sulfur, the source of the landfill smell.Bourne Board of Health member Galon L. (Skip) Barlow noted that the smell started to become a problem at the same time the project started, leading him to see a cause and effect.
Mr. Boyd reiterated that the smell was already present and offered to come back and answer further questions if the board had them.As part of a lengthy discussion Wednesday night, Mr. Barlow said he thought that, now that the board of health knew about the contract and whom to contact, the Department of Environmental Protection might also want to hear what he had to say.
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