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Old 08-10-2013, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Inland Empire, WA
2,133 posts, read 1,800,200 times
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Since reading so many comments about the sugar beet factory in Nampa, I had a look at Google Earth to pin down it's location.

A little background on my experience with sugar beet processing. When I was a wee lad and our family lived in California in a town away from the grandparents. On occaision we would get in the car and drive to Turlock to visit the grandparents, along the way we passed through Manteca, California. Alongside the HWY in Manteca is a C and H sugarbeet processing factory, everpresent in the air a few miles away, before we were in sight of the facility, was the olfactory evidence of the goings-on.

The stench was FOUL, but to be fair there were grazing cattle on the opposite side of the HWY so there was some degree of commingling of the aromas.

After looking at Google Earth and seeing that the factory is located just north of I 84 on E. Karcher and Northshore, then considering the prevailing winds of west to east, I cannot help but think that the comments about being able to smell the factory from anyplace in Nampa are quite overblown(no pun intended, well maybe just a little). If one can detect the odor down around Lake Lowell, Locust Lane, Lewis Lane or Lake shore Dr., then surely those in W. Meridian are going to experience it.

So, does anyone have a truely objective perspective on the offending aroma?

This will be at the front of our minds when the wife and I visit the Boise Metro area in October, windows down and noses open. Knowing the fall/winter jetstream changes may present a different flow during the visit I would like to hear form those familiar with the area.
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
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I lived in Caldwell for 4 years, and often drove by the Nampa sugar factory. I don't remember it ever smelling very foul.

There was a U&I sugar factory in Lincoln, just a few miles outside of Idaho Falls, for many decades. It used to run continuously, but I never noticed any particularly foul odor coming from it, either. It did smell like sugar beets; an earthy smell a lot like potatoes, except with a sweeter edge. I don't remember any odor at all coming from the Nampa factory, which must have been 40 years newer.

The beet pulp could ferment if dumped in the open, and that could stink. At the Lincoln factory, the beet pulp was sold as cattle feed, and was never around long enough to stink; cattlemen would come daily and haul off big truckloads of the stuff. It was dumped in huge bins just outside the factory walls, and the trucks would stop underneath big funnels that dumped the pulp from over head.

I'm thinking you may remember the odor of the feed lot across the road from the C & H plant rather than whatever odor came from the sugar factory. Feed lots always stink. The bigger the lot, the worse it stinks. A wood pulp mill stinks a lot worse, too. You may be confusing those for the smell of a suger beet factory.
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Sandpoint, ID
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This belongs in the Boise area subforum. It's been moved.
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Inland Empire, WA
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Quote:
I'm thinking you may remember the odor of the feed lot across the road from the C & H plant rather than whatever odor came from the sugar factory. Feed lots always stink. The bigger the lot, the worse it stinks. A wood pulp mill stinks a lot worse, too. You may be confusing those for the smell of a suger beet factory.
Perhaps you are correct, for a reason unknown to me, as I was a wee lad, we associated the odor with the sugar beet factory since it was a "unique" odor and not exactly reminiscent of livestock, but it certainly was a contributing factor. It has also been 37 years since my last exposure.
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Old 08-11-2013, 10:04 AM
 
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The smell can occasionally be noticed on the far western edge of Meridian, sometimes clear up to Meridian road, but it isn't common to be that bad. It is also (obviously) much less than it is in Nampa.
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Old 08-11-2013, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Inland Empire, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILI.EB View Post
The smell can occasionally be noticed on the far western edge of Meridian, sometimes clear up to Meridian road, but it isn't common to be that bad. It is also (obviously) much less than it is in Nampa.
Do you find the odor offensive, or is it just noticable as an odor?
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Old 08-11-2013, 12:40 PM
 
285 posts, read 733,866 times
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In Meridian, it's just an unpleasant odor that isn't "strong" enough to be offensive; you just definitely notice it.
In Nampa, within a 3 mile radius of the plant on a "bad" day (which isn't terribly often) it's offensive and I just want to get through it quickly.
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Old 08-11-2013, 07:23 PM
 
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Used to live off of Cloverdale Road in west Boise and every once in a while if the wind was blowing just right you could smell the sugar beet factory in Boise. It was not very often but when you did smell it you were kind of impressed that a smell could travel that far. Then you thought thank God I don't live in Nampa.....
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:19 PM
 
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I wouldn't worry about it unless you are looking in the surrounding areas of Nampa. The smell in those areas can be really bad in the fall/winter when production is high and the inversions trap the smell near the ground. As others have said, the smell can waft over to Meridian/Boise if conditions are just right, but if that happens its very mild compared to what you get up close.
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Inland Empire, WA
2,133 posts, read 1,800,200 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zedd View Post
I wouldn't worry about it unless you are looking in the surrounding areas of Nampa. The smell in those areas can be really bad in the fall/winter when production is high and the inversions trap the smell near the ground. As others have said, the smell can waft over to Meridian/Boise if conditions are just right, but if that happens its very mild compared to what you get up close.

Ah, winter time inversions. I wonder if most of the complaints are based on that experience rather than the "general proximity of Nampa" sounding complaints?

I have been trying to find this data for some time, it should be helpful to others as well: http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/htmlfiles/westwinddir.html Nampa is not on the list, but Caldwell is and should be an adequate example.

Last edited by AK76; 08-13-2013 at 09:02 AM..
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