What's that Noise? Company's 'Screeching' Machines Too Loud for Nearby Residents

The city said it's addressing residents' concerns and working with the Hoover District company to alleviate the noise issue

Residents who live around the 100 block of Witwer Avenue have been hearing a pretty eerie sound over the past several months.

We've heard it described as a sort of howling, spooky noise — and a loud one, to boot.

The sound, coming from Commercial Fluid Power, has grated on the nerves of enough residents that the city now is working with the company to alleviate the noise issues.

Eric Bowles, superintendent of permits and inspection, described the noise as an "oscillating, screeching" sound and said it's coming from machines that hone pipes. It's a loud process, and the company has already tried to curb the noise issues by closing its doors. But, Bowles said, that wasn't always possible during the unseasonably hot summer we've had.

"When you have three, four, five machines doing the honing, the oscillation is all over the place and the noise is all over the place," he said. "It can be pretty frazzling.”

So far, the Dover-based company has tried three options to reduce the noise level and appease nearby residents.

  • The company has made an effort to keep its doors closed during the evening hours as well as move most of the grinding work to the daytime shifts.
  • Commercial Fluid Power also bought new tooling equipment to use in two of its honing machines to reduce the amount of noise the machines produce. Bowles said that brought the noise level down from 85 decibels to 67 decibels with several machines running.
  • The company also had replaced some of the hones with wooden hones, which would reduce the noise level.

Bowles said the company has cooperated with the city in reducing the noise and will continue to meet with city officials to talk about more solutions that will be tried out in the next six months. Bowles declined to go into what those solutions might be.

"We’re at the intersection of ... keeping the neighborhood quality high, and we don’t want to drive this company away from the community because it’s a great company," he said. "So we’re trying to find a solution that’s going to make both parties happy.”

The noise does not violate the city's noise ordinance, which applies to only sound that is amplified (such as through a speaker). 

Audrey Fuller September 27, 2012 at 12:38 AM
My house is literally facing the side of the building. there are 4 houses on this side of the company. we have deal with the noise for so long and just thought there was nothing we could do about it. funny thing is i do not hear any noise coming from there tonight.
Laura September 27, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Just a couple quick comments, One we have been dealing with this noise since the company was opened. Two Hoover comparatively was a super neighbor. Three my family has been complaining for quite some time and nothing until recently has really been accomplished as far as cooperation from the new company. Here are a few facts for those residents that have heard the noise. At any one time they are not running more than 4 to 5 machines, but there are 12 of these noise makers in the building waiting to be used. They have put sound deadening tooling on 2 of the 12 machines. Lastly for my neighborhood 1/4 mile north of the building there is a simple solution, close the garage doors and deal with the heat and ventilation problems so I can enjoy my backyard. For those who live in a closer vicinity please call your councilman and make him/her aware that you will not tolerate this disturbance in our community, because if you don't speak up now, when the noise becomes unbearable with 12 machines running there will be nothing you can do to stop it. Even if you rent you have a right to your peace at home. We must speak up if we want this problem to be resolved.
Audrey Fuller October 01, 2012 at 04:21 PM
I spoke to my councilman. hoping to get fliers out to the neighbours and maybe go to a council meeting and sign a petition. my neighbors next door are willing to participate.
Audrey Fuller October 01, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Mr. peters is who i spoke too.
Del Pucci January 13, 2013 at 05:11 PM
We have been putting up with noise, music, loudspeakers, etc for quite a few years from the Little League Ballfields. The neighbors have complained. Now they want to light the fields ; starting with one field. "No lights stated in the lease." We'll have to listen to the disturbances all Summer after dark with our windows open!!!Del Pucci


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