Remember when Poughkeepsie used to always smell like raw sewage?

Yeah, so do we. Anyone who was living in the Hudson Valley from the 1970s through the 1990s remembers that horrid "broccoli smell" that used to emanate from the water treatment plant.

The plant, situated near Marist College on the Hudson River, was so inefficient that the wastewater facility received fines dating back to the 1970s. That's when the City of Poughkeepsie decided to call in Veolia, the company tasked with getting rid of that dreaded poop smell.

Water and Wastes Digest recently published an article about Poughkeepsie's odor issues. They say Veolia upgraded the biosolids processing system by redirecting the air from the sewage tanks to stop that poop smell from being released into the city. The result was an 85 percent reduction in odor complaints.

In addition to the escaping air, the company solved other maintenance issues by replacing unreliable springs with simple bungee cords. The cords lasted longer and cut down on the collection of solid waists being collected in the corners of the tanks, another source of the odor.

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Poughkeepsie has renewed their partnership with Veolia for another 10 years to help oversee the plant as well as other waste water systems. The City has already seen its annual operating expenses reduced by $170,000 because of the improvements. That and other upgrades have saved Poughkeepsie an estimated $6.6 million over the past 10 years.

While our poop smell is just a faded memory, other communities across the county are still dealing with similar stinky issues. Veolia says the City of Poughkeepsie has become a model for those other places and an example of how that poop smell can finally be flushed away once and for all.