WINDSOR, ONT. -- A Tecumseh resident wants action over a bad smell he says is coming from a nearby vegetable plant and the company says they are working on it.

Jeff Sorrell launched a petition saying the smell that he believes is emitting from the Bonduelle Canada Inc. Plant on Lacasse Boulevard in Tecumseh is ‘unacceptable’.

“I have lived near Bonduelle for 16 years and it has never been this bad,” said Sorrell on the petition post. “It has gotten to the point where we have to keep our windows closed, can't hang clothes outside or even sit outside and enjoy the weather and company of our families.”

Sorrell said other neighbours are fed up too.

“The smell feels almost toxic to breathe in forcing us to have to spend more money while in the middle of a pandemic,” he said.Bonduelle plant

Sorrell claims he has had to use more hydro usage due to running the air conditioning as opposed to opening his windows and using the dryer instead of hanging clothes outside.

In March, the town posted on social media that Bonduelle told them the smell was coming from the waste water lagoon.

A statement from Bonduelle issued Tuesday says staff at the Tecumseh plant are working with consulting engineers to resolve the odour issue “as soon as possible.”
The company says the problem is caused by the wastewater treatment basin. Wastewater is decontaminated by aerobic bacteria eating the organic contaminants during a lagooing process, the statement says.
The lagoon had been frozen throughout the winter and since the water had been stagnant for a long period of time, Bonduelle uses aerators to release the contaminants and allow the bacteria to start ingesting them. This can cause an odour, but usually only for a short period of time.
“The most plausible theory is that a malfunctioning of two of the seven aerators, caused this lingering odour issue, and we are focusing our efforts accordingly,” said Rob Anderson, vice-president of operations at Bonduelle. “We are working ceaselessly to solve this problem. If—as we hope—this is the reason for the current situation, the issue
should be resolved by the end of the week. We are well aware that this situation is a source of inconvenience for the residents of Tecumseh and we apologize for that.”
The vegetable plant was built by Green Giant in 1931, but Bonduelle took it over in 2007.