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05/10/18 02:08:pm

PCB Remediation Project in Basin H Sewer

Project Overview

A 2008 investigation identified the Milwaukee Die Cast Company, located at 4132 North Holton Street in the City of Milwaukee, as the primary source of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s) that are coating sewers located west of the Milwaukee River along Humboldt Avenue between Capitol Drive and Locust Avenue known as ‘Basin H’. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has since remediated the PCB’s at the business site. MMSD is now preparing to remove and safely dispose of PCB contaminated sediment that remains in the sewers. As both the District and the City have sewers contaminated with PCB’s, the two parties have joined into an intergovernmental cooperation agreement to conduct the PCB sediment cleaning as a joint effort. The District will lead all design and construction activities and will be the prime coordinator with USEPA. The City will review and comment on activities as necessary and reimburse the District for appropriate costs.


The USEPA approved remediation work plan
consists of the following steps:

  • Clean the sewers and remove the contaminated sediments from the sewers
  • Dewater the removed sediment and capture/contain the water
  • Test the sediment for PCB’s and send to an appropriate disposal site, depending upon the levels of PCB’s
  • Treat (to remove PCB’s) all wastewater captured as part of the sediment removal and sewer cleaning process
  • Test the treated wastewater for PCB’s before discharging back into the sewer system
  • Televise the sewer with cameras to ensure sediment has been removed
  • Perform pre‐cleaning and post‐cleaning sampling of sewers and work areas


Description of the Remediation Process

A qualified PCB abatement contractor will use powerful vacuum equipment and specially outfitted trucks with sealed liquid containers to conduct the cleaning process through various manholes located along North Humboldt Boulevard and in Kern and Pleasant Valley Parks. Precautions will be made to secure the temporary worksites and prevent any sediment from exiting the sewers.


Access and Construction Traffic

Parks will be open to the public during the project and any limited impacts to park areas such as tree removal will be remedied as part of the project scope. There will be minimal traffic impacts during the project.


Project Timeline

Neighborhood outreach activities and at least one public open house will be conducted before the PCB remediation begins in Fall 2020.

Working Hours

Construction will occur during the daytime, Monday through Friday. The contractor cannot work outside these hours without prior approval from MMSD and the City of Milwaukee.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or concerns, please call: Keith Kalinger, P.E., MMSD Senior Project Manager, (414) 225‐2064,