Polk County, Florida DEP sue human waste processing company for odor violations

Image 1 of 7

Polk County is hauling BS Ranch & Farm to court - again.

The county and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have ongoing issues with odors coming from BS Ranch, which processes human waste into soil. 

Recently, Polk County Code Enforcement cited BS with five smell violations, each of which could carry a fine of up to $15,000.

Kirk Sullivan, the owner of San Juan Pools, which sits next to BS Ranch, says he smells it every day, and describes it as "horrific."

"If you went to every sewer plant and put your head in there, and you exposed yourself to every septic tank, and you mingled it together, that's what it smells like," he said.

"If we have a wind coming out of the east or northeast, it's nearly unbearable," commented San Juan Pools employee Tracy Mesmer.

Patrice Boyes, the Gainesville attorney who represents BS Ranch, says critics of the ranch should point their fingers elsewhere.

"Trucks go down the road carrying bio-solids to the county landfill. They are odorous, and yet we get blamed," she said.

Boyes said the smell could also be coming from a nearby water treatment plant, or the aging septic tank systems at trailer parks close by.

Representatives of BS Ranch & Farm are scheduled to appear before a special magistrate on the stench issue Oct. 17, at 8:30 a.m. in Bartow.