Mount Dora residents worried about foul smell

The City of Mount Dora and frustrated residents both agree that there is a foul odor in parts of the city that comes and goes. As of Wednesday, people living in parts of the city said the smell was definitely back.

"The smell comes in the house at like four or five in the morning. Permeates through the home, stays inside the home all day. We don't know what we're breathing in," said resident Meisha Santagata.

"Sulphur, sewage, just mixed together, if you will," said resident Hunter File, describing the odor.

The smell has a problem FOX35 has been reporting since the start of the year. The file said the smell had been around for a while. "On and off for the last couple of months since I've lived here."

Still, no one is sure where it's been coming from - likely culprits include a landfill, a mushroom farm, and the city's water treatment plant. The state's Department of Environmental Protection sent the city a letter warning them about issues at the water treatment plant in January, which the city fixed about a week later.

Since then, the DEP has sent the city another letter listing new violations at the plant, but Mayor Chrissy Stile pointed out that none of them referred to the smell. "They did a surprise visit to the plant," she said, "there were log books that didn't have certain information recorded on certain dates and that type of thing, there was not one violation for odor so that just goes to show you that we're operating to the highest efficiency that we can."

Stile said they were monitoring for smells at the plant. "So there's sniffers already in-place collecting data, the wind directional on top of the plant to track all that, and that way it helps us track that information and put together, when the complaints come in, with how the wind's blowing, what's happening at the plant."

The city said they were waiting on shipments of more chemicals to aiming to curb smells from the plant. Mayor Stile said it was the DEP’s job to look at smells that could be coming from the landfill and other places.