Dear Action Line: What is the bright yellow flame burning from the metal chimney at the city’s water reclamation facility? Is it methane from, well, you know? There was no hint of the old smel-turd aroma, but are all of us environmentally righteous Durangotangs sending greenhouse gases into the atmosphere? – Tree hugger
Dear Hugger: The city of Durango installed special filters during the $60 million renovation of the sewage treatment plant that were able to remove the aroma from environmental Durangotangs. Future upgrades will remove the righteousness.
Full disclosure: Action Line is one of the most aromatic, righteous tree huggers around, so don’t get any ideas about protesting in front of the Herald. Or if you do, make sure to let me know the day and time so I can bring signs and join the chanting.
“Hey hey, ho ho! Action Line has got to go!”
“What do we want? Action Line fired! When do we want it? Now!”
“I say Action Line, you say Stinks! Action Line. Stinks! Action Line. Stinks!”
What doesn’t stink is the non-aromatic flame you spotted; it’s burning methane and other gases that are a byproduct of sewage treatment, said Jarrod Biggs, the city’s assistant utilities director. “We only use the flare when our micro-turbines are being serviced or otherwise unavailable to burn that methane to generate electricity for the facility,” he said.
“We are doing our best to make the facility ‘smell-turriffic,’” he said, doing his best Tony the Tiger impression.
“I tried,” said Biggs, who is grrrrrreeat!
“Our staff are dialing things in, and while not perfect, it is much improved, unless I and others have simply gone nose-blind.”
Biggs said once COVID-19 concerns are over, tours should be available for those interested in “going where they go.”
Dear Action Line: Can I feed the bears? – Not bear aware
Dear NBA: Joe Lewandowski, spokesman for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said no, you cannot feed the bears.
“Bears have survived in the wild for tens of thousands of years on natural food sources. So there is no reason to provide them human sources of food,” he said.
“If they find easy sources of food in garbage cans or backyards, they can become habituated and will return. If they lose their fear of being in the human environment, they can become aggressive and pose a threat to people.”
Lewandowski asked for readers to report sightings or problems – even if they seems minor – immediately to the Durango wildlife office at 247-0855. By learning of problems early, wildlife officers have more options for dealing with problem bears.
Because Lewandowski didn’t have anything funny to say about the bears, and neither did Action Line, Action Line asked Jarrod Biggs at the city wastewater treatment plant if he had anything funny to say about the bears because he mentioned “smell-turriffic,” which was really funny.
He didn’t either.
Email questions to email@example.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. Action Line dares everyone to go to a restaurant and say, “Wow. That’s just smell-turriffic” after the food arrives. And keep a straight face.