How The Nantucket Sewer Department And DPW Saved The Pops Concert

Jason Graziadei •

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Just days before the 25th edition of the Boston Pops on Nantucket, the event organizers were dealt a curveball: the disgusting stench of rotting seaweed at Jetties Beach.

The smell was so strong, it could be detected from at least a mile away, and prompted dozens of calls to town departments complaining about the smell of propane gas or raw sewage.

It threatened to derail the return of the beloved Pops concert after a two-year hiatus during the pandemic. Enter David Gray and the town's Sewer and Public Works departments.

Gray, the director of the Sewer Department, assembled a crew of workers at 5:30 a.m. on Friday, the day before the concert, to carefully remove the rotting seaweed at low tide that morning. In all, the town departments teamed up to removed six tons of rotting seaweed from the beach, filling two trucks full of the decomposing material. The waste was brought to the Surfside Wastewater Treatment Facility for disposal.

Meanwhile, the concert went forward as scheduled, and the smell was largely eliminated for most of the night.

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