Campus appears to be odor free

Plumas Unified School District put $1.2 million toward a major fix at C. Roy Carmichael Elementary School in the late summer of 2016 to abate a serious stench discovered on campus in the early spring of that year.

This fix came after a sensitive-nosed teacher caught the first whiffs of what turned out to be hydrogen sulfide coming from two storm drains near the front of the school campus and through the floor of the multi-purpose building, according to the school district’s Maintenance and Transportation Director Ken Pierson.

After about six weeks of work, the project was completed in time for the start of the Fall 2016 semester, and the community was left to ponder Greenville scientist and resident Dr. Bill Wattenburg’s words, when he asked the looming question, “What are you going to do when a few months from now you have the same smell?”

PUSD Superintendent Terry Oestreich visited the campus Monday, Jan. 23, and said, “When I was on campus, it was earlier in the day, and obviously there is still snow on the ground, but there was no hint of odor whatsoever. We are very pleased with the fact that there seems to have been no return of the odor.”

Pierson noted that there are still two monitors on site, which are connected to alarms that would sound if hydrogen sulfide levels were to rise again.


“We have the meters set on their most sensitive setting and thus far there have been no complaints whatsoever. Not one single alarm has gone off.”

Frank Carey, Facilities Foreman and Safety Officer, also commented that it was “quite a process to get the work done, but it was done properly, with a very efficient contractor.”

Pierson said in closing, “We’re really pleased with how this was handled, from the testing process right up to the end result. We are still constantly monitoring the site, and so far, so good.”