What’s That Foul Smell When Driving Along The 190?
One of the great things about living in Buffalo is that we're fortunate to live in such a diverse area with tons of great and unique things to enjoy all over the place.
One of those unique things that we have gotten used to dealing with in Buffalo is a variety of smells.
If you travel around downtown or the first ward, you're bound to be welcomed by the sweet smell of Cheerios cereal. That cereal, along with other cereals is manufactured at the General Mills plant on Buffalo's other harbor.
Unfortunately, that's not the only smell that you encounter in Buffalo. If you happen to live in the Upper West Side or Black Rock, have gone to school at Buffalo State, or happen to drive along the I-190, then you know exactly what smell I'm talking about.
Thanks to a key piece of infrastructure that is essential to our city, sometimes we're subject to the smell of raw sewage being processed.
What Is That Smell and What Causes It?
The foul smell that you are subject to from time to time is in fact raw waste water and sewage being processed at the City of Buffalo's Bird Island Waste Water Treatment Facility.
Originally constructed in the 1930s, and upgraded in the 1970s, Buffalo's Waste Water Treatment Facility recently received a more than $50 million upgrade that allows it to process sewage and wastewater for the entire City of Buffalo, along with Cheektowaga, West Seneca, parts of Erie County, along with other communities.
The treatment facility does exactly what you think it does, it takes everything that you pour down the drain and flush down the toilet and cleans the water. The treatment process happens in a series of large water tanks where different solids are removed from the water before being chemically treated before being released into the Niagara River.
According to data from New York State, Buffalo has the 4th largest treatment plant in the state and it can treat around 180 million gallons of wastewater per day.
So, so the next time that you drive up or down the I-190 with your windows down and you are overwhelmed with the smell of poop emojis, now you know.