South Coatesville Borough building

South Coatesville Borough

A foul odor, which South Coatesville officials have received complaints about from residents and businesses, has been addressed by the likely source.

Officials reported a problem with a sludge digester, a part of machinery that converts organic solids into reusable stable substances at the Pennsylvania American Waste Water treatment plant in South Coatesville.

South Coatesville Borough Council President Renee Carey said during the July 9 meeting an inspector from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is monitoring the plant for the rest of the month. The digester is to be no higher than 2.5 percent, but it was 3.5.

Carey said after the meeting, the smell may return as “DEP is continuing to work with the plant to identify exactly what happened to cause the rise of the sledge digester at the plant, and if any other parts also were not performing correctly.”

Councilwoman Sylvia Washington said at the meeting the issue occurs yearly during the summer months. She advised residents to keep calling officials if the abnormal smell resurfaces.

Residents in neighboring communities complained on social media about the smell. Virginia Decker of Modena Borough compared the odor to a portable restroom that was turned over. Melanie Vermilyea of Coatesville city described it as a mixture of sewage, natural gas and methane. Another Coatesville city resident, Marie Lawson, said residents as far as 13th Avenue could smell the stench.

Food truck rules

In other business, council passed  a  food truck ordinance for trucks to be at one-day events like the Fall Fest on Sept. 21. Application fees and deposits range from $50-$500, and vendors must pay $25 for a police background check. All permits are valid for a specific period from the date of issuance.

S. Lee Teel, who operates Teel’s BBQ Pit Stop from April through December, paid the $500 annual fee, plus a $500 deposit to operate his 18-foot trailer outside the South Coatesville Life Center. He said July 11 he had paid the borough $100 a year for a solicitor’s license for the past three years.

He said he lost two months’ worth of business because the borough did not have a defined application process for mobile eating establishments in April;  he eventually opened on June 12.

“I did what they asked and I finally got my license,” Teel said.