This archived article was written by: Kellie Henderson
R&R Environmental Inc. inspected the College of Eastern Utah’s Student Center on Nov. 25 to determine the source and components of the smell emanating from the top floor bathrooms.
The report investigated levels of carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, and temperature and humidity, and all registered normal. An air quality test was also conducted, which tested for contaminants. According to the standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the building received a PEL (Permissible Exposure Limit).
Although the source of the odor could not be determined by the report, it could be due to pinch points in the sewage system that cause it to become sluggish during high usage. The odors are most pungent during the day, when the bathrooms are most frequently used. Also, the sewage from other buildings may be compacting with the JLSC’s to create the odor, and the report recommended that the pipes be inspected.
CEU maintenance has inspected the pipes for pinch points, according to Sheila Burghardt, facilities manager, and is requesting the funding for an additional investigation by an engineering firm. They also began bioremediation treatments- or the use of fungi or plants to reverse the effects of contamination- in Oct., which has alleviated some of the smell. These treatments can only be administered every thirty days, so the full effects cannot be determined yet.