Anyone passing through Morris along Hwy 9 near the Morris Fire Hall, may encounter an awful odor, which is not coming from any of the other people in the car. The smell is similar to sewer gas and has been gracing the area for a good part of the winter. Councilman Brian Solvie asked what that smell was at the City Council meeting on March 8. A question many area people may be wondering.
City Manager Blaine Hill gave a short answer “it is Lake Crystal.” But Lake Crystal is several blocks away so why does it smell there?
The explanation was a little more complicated.
Hill explained that the lake keeps flowing and overflow goes into a storm sewer near the lake. The drainage outlet runs through an open ditch along the railroad tracks by the fairgrounds. It then crosses under the tracks and drains into an underground storm sewer that opens back up to Green River on Columbia Avenue. Then it drains into the Pomme de Terre River. The smell is from the draining water. Underground the pipe system is open and the air travels through various pipes and catch basins.
Hill said he will be contacting the DNR and Fish and Wildlife asking if there was anything that could be done about the smell. Another option would be to put an enclosed pipe along the tracks or even aerate the lake.