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Sewer System Repairs May Cause Temporary Odors

10/28/22 04:00:pm

Extra Measures Being Taken to Reduce Nearby Odors

A $970,000 fix in the regional sewer system could lead to odors in neighborhoods of Milwaukee’s near south side and Bay View starting 10/31/2022 (weather dependent).

The maintenance and repairs will take place underground in concrete structures near 7th Street and Scott Street and 4th Street and Scott Street. To make sure the job sites are safe for workers, sanitary sewer flows will be routed to the Deep Tunnel upstream of the areas where the work will take place. Without the Deep Tunnel, crews would need to construct expensive, temporary by-pass sewers to move wastewater around the sections of sewers in need of repair.

Deep Tunnel Access Shafts to be Covered to Reduce Odors

Several steps are being taken to reduce odors during the project, which could last two weeks. Six access shafts to the Deep Tunnel will be covered with layers of plastic and wood to help keep odors from escaping up the shafts and into neighborhoods. Massive Deep Tunnel fans will be utilized to draw clean air into the tunnel and vent it into the atmosphere at the Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility.

construction odor map showing deep tunnel access shafts

Since We’re Talking About Odors

Anytime is a good time to check the traps in your plumbing fixtures and basement floor drain at home to prevent sewer gas from getting into your house. A trap is the “U” shaped pipe you see under sinks. It traps and stores water, while, at the same time, allowing water to flow through the pipe downstream through the sewer system to the wastewater treatment plant.  Water in the trap can evaporate, so add some once in a while if you have a sink or drain that are rarely used.

graph of sewer odor from pipe

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