Residents of Whitewater, Colorado, continue to suffer with noxious odors
from the nearby Deer Creek frackwater disposal facility, despite ongoing efforts by owner Alanco Energy Services over many months to stop the stink emanating from their wastewater ponds.
Alanco has tried dredging the ponds, adding bleach-based chemicals and cutting back on the number of trucks dumping at the facility, all efforts that have not only failed to yield a permanent solution, but at times have added even more layers of stench to the overall odor problem.
Alanco’s latest effort to ameliorate the situation consisted of hiring a Boulder-based company called Clean Chemistry, Inc., in June to treat the ponds’ bacterial odor with a new, proprietary solution Clean Chemistry owns called PeroxyMax.
The PeroxyMax treatement effectively quelled the stench from the Deer Creek ponds, but Alanco stopped using it shortly after they started, telling Clean Chemistry they simply could not afford to continue the treatment. The explanation Alanco offered the public for stopping the treatment was that they don’t want the disposal site to become “chemistry dependent,” and they prefer to “control the [odor] issues biologically.”
That explanation didn’t hold much sway with the neighbors who continue to endure the constant stench from the facility and worry the site may threaten their health as well.
Recent air quality testing
of the area revealed low levels of benzene and toluene around the facility. Both chemicals are carcinogens.
Neighbors have complained of headaches, nosebleeds, a metallic taste in their mouths and a variety of odors smelling like a variety of things ranging from diesel exhaust to bleach. They continue to press the Mesa County Commissioners to take action to end their misery.
In a public meeting on May 4, 2015, Alanco promised to resolve the condition within 36 hours, and in a subsequent May 7, 2015 letter
, the commissioners threatened to hold public hearings “immediately” to pull Alanco’s conditional use permit if the company didn’t quickly and permanently stop the odor problem.
But the odors persist, and so far the commissioners have not taken further action against the company beyond writing the May 7 letter.
Some Whitewater area neighbors have grown tired after months of empty promises of permanent solutions by both the company and the county commissioners and solved the problem by packing up, moving away, and sacrificing their property value to escape the noxious frackwater facility.