People walk past the Colonial Theatre in downtown Belfast on April 14. Credit: Natalie Williams / BDN

If you caught a strong whiff of something stinky in downtown Belfast this week, you’re not alone.

Several people have posted on social media about the odor, which has permeated the area from the Belfast Community Co-op on High Street to the skatepark on Washington Street.

Belfast Mayor Eric Sanders said there are a few days each summer where the downtown does get hit with a strong smell. While he said there could be a number of variables, he’s pretty sure the odor is coming from the city’s wastewater treatment center.

“The inside temperatures can reach over 140 degrees,” Sanders said. “So, when that happens, you can imagine what happens to the smell of that stuff.”

In addition to the recent high temperatures, Sanders said the midsummer rush of tourists coming to town and events like the Maine Celtic Celebration that bring thousands of visitors into the community can lead to a period where the treatment center has a lot more waste to handle than usual.

Workers at the plant have turned on an additional fan to help disperse the smell and will double check the pipes leading to the treatment center, he said.

“We’re working hard, and so are the pipes,” Sanders quipped.

Braeden Waddell is a reporter covering Belfast and Waldo County. He grew up in Waldoboro and joined the Bangor Daily News in 2023 after working as an associate producer for National Public Radio. He graduated...