People think that Oxford is always comparing itself to Norwich. That’s just not the case. The true rivalry is with Greene. At least it was when I was in school back in the days before time. You can imagine, then, my dismay when I learned during tour of Greene’s waste water treatment facility earlier this week, that Greene’s *&%# really doesn’t stink.
I’ll admit it. I wasn’t looking forward to the tour. But I needed to gather information for a story, so I sucked it up and made the call to the Village of Greene’s Superintendent of Public Works Bob Nowalk.
I was kind of hoping he’d tell me not to come down. Instead, he offered to make time in his schedule later that day to give me a full tour. How could I have said no? (No, really. How?)
I drove very slowly all the way from Norwich to Greene. I used my extra travel time to practice breathing through my mouth.
As it turned out, I needn’t have bothered. Both of the lift stations Bob showed me, as well as the treatment plant itself, were virtually odor free. I don’t mean this in the way that advertisers say those excruciatingly painful hair removal products are “virtually pain free.” It really did not smell.
I was left thinking: “Why the heck not?” After all, you only need to drive down Route 12 through Oxford at the right (or wrong) time to know that our *&%# DOES stink.
While Bob provided the technical explanation, siting Greene’s anaerobic process vs Oxford’s aerobic process, I struggled with it until he brought it down to terms I could more easily understand.
“If you stir the *&%#,” Bob said, “It’s gonna stink.”
One thing we’ve always been good at in Oxford is stirring it up.