'It smells like dog poo': Mount Dora residents concerned about odor wafting over city

Residents at Sullivan Ranch in Mount Dora said it stinks having to wait for answers as to what's causing a bad smell there.  FOX 35 News took their concerns to the top.

Resident Hunter File described the smell that is wafting over the city.  "Like rotten eggs, sulfur. It’s bad." Her 8-year-old son, Oliver Gelfand, agrees, "It smells like dog poo."  Neighbor Ethan Booz said, "you walk out the door, and it’s just rancid."

FOX 35 News has been trying to get to the bottom of this since we heard about the issue a couple of weeks ago. We reached out to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to ask questions about the investigation. A DEP spokesperson said on January 18, they confirmed offsite odors from both the Mid-Florida Materials landfill and Mt Dora’s Wastewater treatment plant.

Resident Schari Pivowar worries that the odor might be toxic. "We don’t know anything about it." "It makes me feel dizzy sometimes," Gelfand adds.

FOX 35 also found out the DEP issued a warning letter to the city regarding the wastewater treatment facility on January 18. By January  24, the city was told they were back in compliance.  

We previously reported, the city is investigating and talked to Mayor Crissy Stile about what’s being done. 

"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." 

She said the city has already spent $750,000 on improvements at the plant. As for the landfill, DEP said they previously cited the privately run business, for non-compliance and pursued formal enforcement with corrective actions and penalties, such as completing a 30-day odor control study. 

"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."

However, tempers flare as residents wait.  

"I want an answer, but we’re not getting any," Pivowar said. "Very angry. It’s caught up in red tape." 

City officials will meet with DEP this Thursday. They're hoping to get more answers during that meeting.