'If a smell makes you gag, it can’t be good for you': Mount Dora residents demands city finds source of stench

Mount Dora Mayor Crissy Stile said the city has spent thousands of dollars trying to figure out if a wastewater treatment plant or a landfill is the source of a bad odor that permeates the city. She doesn't believe the odor is the city's fault.

The Central Florida community is known for its beauty and charm, but it’s what you can’t see that’s aggravating everyone. 

"Yesterday it smelled like dirty diapers. Urine-soaked diapers that should have been thrown away a week ago," explained Brandi Baldi, who said the odor sometimes flows into her kids' bedrooms. "If a smell makes you gag, it can’t be good for you."

"We had people at city council last night saying their throat hurts when they wake up in the morning. Their eyes burn."

Mayor Stile said she is not sure where the smell is coming from. "It’s hard to point a finger. The residents are so frustrated. We are equally frustrated because there’s nothing we can do." 

However, she said a Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) official is working on finding the cause of the odor. 

"He’s looking at the mushroom plant, he’s looking at the marijuana farm out on Britt Road, he’s looking at our lift stations, he’s looking at our wastewater treatment plant." 

She said they are utilizing technology to help pinpoint the stench. 

"They will create a sniffer to smell for the exact methane gases that are smelled in our wastewater treatment plant, so we can determine if the smell they’re smelling in Sullivan Ranch and other surrounding neighborhoods is the same gases that are being released from the wastewater treatment plant."

They have already spent $750,000 on improvements there. "We’ve added carbon filters, and we’ve taken measures at our lift stations."

She suspects it could be the landfill that the DEP operates and tells us it has been cited for potential violations. 

"We are confident that we are doing everything we can to determine we’re not the source of the smell. It's up to DEP to determine where the smell is actually coming from." 

We reached out to the DEP and had not heard back before the publication of this story.