Sewer stink leads to lawsuit

- PLEASANT GROVE, UT (ABC 4 News) - The cities of Pleasant Grove and American Fork have filed a lawsuit for what has been cited as massive damages.

The suit alleges that the Timpanogos special services sewer district processes and sells compost made from human waste sludge which the compost industry refers to as "humanure."

The suit was filed in Fourth District Court on Tuesday by members of Citizens For Clean Air and Progress.

The group is made up of the city of Pleasant Grove, BMW of Pleasant Grove, American Fork chamber of Commerce, Stewart's RV, along with others.

According to the lawsuit, the sewer plant mixes hundreds of tons of human waste with chopped leaves, wood, and grass clippings. This is composed into rows that measure 160 feet long, 24 feet wide and 10 feet tall.

According to the Provo Daily Herald this composting has caused loss of property value and tax revenue in the amount of $75 million.

The suit states cumulative future losses in excess of $350 million.

Damages that are being sought by the plaintiffs is unknown and will be determined during the trial.

In attempting to show damage that supports the loss of property value and future losses the suit claims the sewer plant emits foul, substantial and obnoxious odors that travel several miles through the air.

The suit links the odor to illnesses that affect residents, workers and visitors.

This has resulted in employees taking sick days, offices closing, and meetings and events cancelled.

The suit also claims that the smell has created greater difficulty in leasing commercial spaces.

This difficulty has resulted in lower lease rates and tenants leaving or threatening to leave due to the smell.

According to the suit, Utah County has violated state codes by allowing the district's activities.

The suit claims this alleged illegal activity has pushed development away from American Fork and Pleasant Grove.

-- Information provided by The Provo Daily Herald

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