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Tue May 11, 2021, 01:39 AM

Fort Worth's use of 'sewage sludge' on farmland is still causing a stink in rural areas

Before she ever heard the word “biosolids,” Katherine Smith knew that the smell wafting across her 160-acre property in Bosque County was abnormal. Starting in early March, she tracked the days where she could barely peek her head outside without feeling nauseous. Out of 49 days, she marked 28 as “STINK.”

“It’s impossible to say just how much it stinks,” Smith said in late April. “I got home from the store on Thursday, opened my car door and started gagging because it smells so bad. I barely could get my car unloaded and my groceries inside without throwing up.”

By mid-March, Smith learned where the odors were coming from: the 4,000-acre Houston ranch, which lies just across the Brazos River from her family’s property at Brazos Point, near Kopperl, about 60 miles south of Fort Worth.

On Feb. 25, ranch owner Ryan Houston began accepting biosolids fertilizer, also known as sewage sludge, from the city of Fort Worth, unknowingly opening a new chapter of controversy over how the byproduct of wastewater treatment affects rural communities. Houston did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Read more: https://www.star-telegram.com/news/business/growth/article251189789.html

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