City continues to search for source of odor

City of Warren officials are aware of an intermittent odor in the area of Oak Street, Elm Street and Lexington Avenue.

The smell is intermittent which is proving an additional challenge in locating the source.

City Manager Nancy Freenock said that Department of Public Works crews have been trying to find the source for a couple months. She said crews searching on Tuesday didn’t smell anything in the area until a manhole cover was lifted.

Department of Public Works Director Mike Holtz said the smell is not a typical sewer smell. He said the Department of Environmental Protection has been on scene to investigate, as well. The smell emerging from a manhole cover was surprising because Holtz said the city had flushed the lines and used a camera to search many of those lines. He said recent rains would also serve to flush the sewer system, as well.

Holtz said they’ve met with the businesses and industries in the area who, at this time, also don’t have any indication what the origin might be.

The intermittent nature, he added, makes tracing the smell more challenging. He stressed that the city has put significant resources into the search and will continue to do so. Smoke testing, blowing smoke into the system as a way to identify cracks or breaks in the lines, is being discussed. While the smoke is not harmful, some would likely enter residences in the area.

“We certainly want to find the source,” Freenock said.

Holtz said anyone with information can call the city’s office at 814-723-6300.


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