That’s what many residents wondered over the weekend when they caught wind of an overpowering stench in Cumming.
Joey Midoro said the odor was so rank he was concerned about his health.
“It was pretty bad,” he said. “I couldn’t take it, so I ended up going to Atlanta to spend the weekend at my sister’s apartment. I got back [Sunday] night and it was still lingering around.”
Midoro, who has lived in Cumming off and on for about nine years, said there often is a strange smell in the city. The stench over the weekend, however, was the worst.
Forsyth County Fire Capt. Jason Shivers said the department responded to at least six complaints between Friday and Sunday of something that smelled like natural gas or methane.
“On every incident we found that there was nothing [hazardous] in the area, but it was the same odor permeating the city,” Shivers said.
He said firefighters determined the smell came from the Tyson poultry plant’s water treatment facility.
Shivers said Tyson representatives notified the county’s emergency management agency that there was a “burp” in their water system that released the undesirable aroma.
“It was determined to not be a safety hazard,” Shivers said. “It was just an unfortunate foul odor.”
Gary Mickelson, a spokesman for Tyson, said in an e-mail that the company had some operational problems at the wastewater treatment system that serves the Cumming complex. As a result, it temporarily suspended operations at the poultry processing plant.
“Members of our Cumming operations and environmental team have been working to resolve this situation,” wrote Mickelson, adding that the plant was expected to resume production Monday night.
“We regret any inconvenience these issues may have caused in the community,” he wrote.
Jon Heard, Cumming water director, said there were no problems with the city’s facilities that would’ve caused such a bad smell.
Jodi Gardner, county government spokeswoman, said none of the county’s facilities were to blame either.