By Grant Bissell
BRIDGETON, Mo. (KSDK) - The smell at the Bridgeton Landfill has gotten worse.
We've been talking about it for weeks, but crews have finally started work to fix the odor problems.
Our reporter wanted to report from the landfill, but when he got out there Wednesday morning, he knew it wouldn't be possible. His eyes started watering, he started coughing, and his nose started to run. These are problems residents in the area are going to have to deal with as the work goes on.
Republic Services started work Wednesday to remove a number of concrete pipes from beneath the surface. But that work is allowing much more of the smelly gas to release into the air.
Eventually, the crews will place a plastic cap over the landfill that should block the smell, but that work will likely take weeks to complete. And that means some nearby residents may have to suffer through this process. Other residents have opted to move into hotels for the duration of the work, which is expected to last approximately three weeks.
Fortunately, there was a strong wind blowing Wednesday that blew most of the smell away from nearby neighborhoods.
There is ongoing concern about whether the gasses contain harmful substances that could pose a health risk. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources stepped up its air monitoring on Monday, and as of Tuesday reported only sulphur dioxide peaked above safe levels for a short time. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services says the sulphur dioxide was dispersed enough that it didn't pose a health hazard.
For daily air monitoring updates, visit the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services website.