Some people in Columbia are getting some unusual sights and smells from manholes in their neighborhoods.
A private sewer company hired by the city is repairing underground pipes through manholes.
The work causes steam to rise from manholes with a bitter odor.
Contractors are installing new lining inside sewer pipes that can extend the life of the pipe by up to 50 years.
Reinforcing old pipes prevents costly excavation, service interruptions and the installation of new sewer pipes.
Columbia Public Works Sanitary Sewer Engineer Nate Runyan said, â??It will probably take place in Columbia for a very long time. The $32 million bond that just passed will give us enough money to line for the next 5 years. I suspect after that, we will continue lining.â??
The steam and odor does not harm humans or pets.
If you smell the odor in your house or business through basement or floor drains, you should pour a few gallons of water into your drain to help stop the steam from entering.