Mount Dora residents complain of foul odors wrecking quality of life

Mount Dora residents have been complaining about foul odors for months on end. At Tuesday’s council meeting, they made clear they’ve had enough.

"We are constantly – almost every night – plagued with the smell," one speaker told council members.

"I used to be able to have my windows open. Can’t do that anymore," said another presenter. "There’s days I go out in my yard and I almost throw up because the smell is so horrible."

Jim Ray, who is part of the HOA board for Sunnybrook Hills, said he believes the smell that permeates his home is coming from the wastewater treatment plant. 

"Woke up this morning, headed out early at six o’clock to meet some friends for breakfast. And the stench was awful. It was awful," Ray told FOX 35 News. 

Ray wasn’t the only one who said the smell is worse in the morning. There are hoards of people with that same observation speaking out in a Facebook group created by a woman named Cynthia Breed.

"It comes and goes, but a lot of it has to do with the weather and the atmospheric conditions," said Breed. 

FOX 35 Meteorologist Brooks Garner explained that air is colder in the morning, making it denser – what’s referred to as an "inversion" – and it traps those odors lower to the ground in the early hours of the day. People smelling the stench worry about their health. 

"We don’t know if there’s bacteria being released, we don’t know what sort of health issues there are going to be, but I know it’s getting worse. Much worse," one person who spoke out at the council meeting said.

"We don’t really know the ramifications of this smell. Is it really affecting us? It’s definitely affecting our quality of life," said another Mount Dora resident.

The city said it’s got a consent order to make sure the landfill is up to standards, and that it’s already invested millions into upgrades for the wastewater treatment plant. 

The mayor says Mount Dora has done its part. Speakers at the City Council meeting disagreed. 

"We need to get it corrected. We need to identify the specific sources – and like I said, there are several. We need to come up with ways to mitigate those odors," said Breed.

Mount Dora residents had also complained about the stench coming in from a marijuana facility, which you can read about here