West Fargo Officials May Take Action Against the Waste Pond Stench

In a public meeting on Thursday, city officials brought up three options

WEST FARGO, N.D. — For many years, people living in West Fargo have complained about bad summertime smells.

City workers are looking into possible solutions.

You smell them before you see them.

Bad smells coming from West Fargo’s stabilization ponds are a growing concern among citizens.

City officials want to hear your thoughts on three proposed ways to reduce the stench.

“When we first moved here a few years ago, it was two weeks out of the year that we had smells,” said Ron Tittus, a realtor in West Fargo. He said these smells have driven away potential clients. “Now it’s three months.”

In the summer, Tittus can smell the waste stabilization ponds from his backyard.

“I don’t think they have much choice but to join Fargo,” said Tittus.

One of the options is to join wastewater treatment with Fargo which could cost around $12 million.

A second option is to expand the ponds to reduce smells, which officials say costs $20 million.

The third and most expensive option is to build West Fargo’s very own mechanical treatment plant, costing roughly $75 million.

“Of all the three options, hooking on to the City of Fargo is the only one that will allow us to completely eliminate the lagoons,” said West Fargo Public Works Director Chris Brungartt. “We’d probably be able to start that service by fall of 2018.”

A commissioner at Thursday’s public meeting said with any of these three options, smells may not be completely eliminated due to factors like the location of Fargo’s landfill.

At this time, an official game plan has not started, but they hope to start the process soon.

“I think it will probably be in the next month or two that we’ll have a decision on which way we’re going,” said Brungartt.

Officials said increasing water bills would likely be how they get funds.

Proposing a sales tax increase may also be possible.

Off camera, a man who said he’s lived in West Fargo for about 80 years told us these smells have always been an issue.

But he does not think it’s getting worse.

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