Man: Waste Water Pump Poisoning Me

Key Biscayne man claims pumping station is slowly killing him

A Key Biscayne man says a stinky smell near his house is a poisonous odor that's slowly breaking down his body.

John Paul Rosser is convinved the area around his home is a death trap of hydrogen sulfide, emitted from a waste water pumping station next door, and now he's suing the Village of Key Biscayne and a contractor who worked on the pumping station.

"I was starting to have speaking problems...I had a blood vessel break in my eye. There's numerous problems, some of which I probably wouldn't want to tell you right now," Rosser said. "They're all central nervous system problems - it's a neuropoison."

Hydrogen sulfide can be poisonous if ingested in high concentrations, and an e-mail from a Miami Dade Health Department official to the County Water and Sewer Department confirms that the levels around Rosser's home are high.

"The data collected at the site showed to daily peaks of hydrogen sulfide concentration. And an inspection of the collection system...identified a number of defects," the e-mail reads.

Rosser, 58, said he doesn't think or act like his old self as a result of the poisoning and he suffers from confusion and headaches. He and his wife, Virginia, are staying with friends, afraid to live in their own house.

"To live there for us now would be a continual threat to our lives, and I don't want to end up like a vegetable," Rosser said.

A notice of violation from the county's Department of Environmental Resources to Key Biscayne's Village manager said that the "pump station has been placed into operation without obtaining the required certification to operate."

An attorney representing the Village of Key Biscayne said the pumping station is a Miami-Dade County responsibility, and a county official said their risk management department is looking into the issue.

Rosser just wants answers, and action.

"To this day if you go and talk to any of these government officials they'll tell you it's just an odor problem, a smell problem - they don't tell you it's a poison problem," Rosser said.

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