Difficult to implement? Underground near each pump, the city stores hydrogen peroxide in two 55-gallon drums, which can be programmed to automatically discharge the chemical into the system at set intervals if and when a complaint is made. If used, the attempt to stop the stench with this easily dispensed chemical is often very effective, and when mixed with the odor-causing hydrogen sulfide, the detergent converts the waste into a water-like form.
Odor controls have been used on only four out of the 20 sites throughout Costa Mesa. Pump stations 12 (Santa Ana/Brentwood), 13 (southwest Irvine/Mesa), 16 (South Coast Plaza) and 39 (21st Street/Newport) are the locations that have been considered rank enough to necessitate treatment. Looking at these stations, one cannot help but notice where they are located. Station 12 is in pleasant neighborhood. Station 13 is three feet from a bus stop and across from the Newport Beach Golf Course. Station 16 is in a South Coast Plaza parking structure. And Station 39 is near a hotel's parking lot, as you head north on Newport Boulevard, away from Triangle Square.
In the future, the smell is likely to decrease since the Costa Mesa Sanitation District is currently working on biological additives and less costly chemicals to use. Still, one has to question why the South Coast Plaza vent pipe is eight feet tall while the El Campeon pipe sits at slightly more than three feet. Hamers again justified the location and height of the pole in front of the market by noting it wasn't absolutely necessary to lengthen the pole since it would then beg the question "How tall is tall enough?"
Although Pump Station 24 goes untreated and reeks daily, Hamers maintains, "We are doing the best we can."