Walker's Point residents upset with odor from sewage district

Posted at 9:26 PM, Jul 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-11 12:01:45-04

MILWAUKEE -- Some Walker's Point residents demanding a change to the smell in their neighborhood.

According to one group it is coming from Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. But the MMSD says they are not always responsible. An odor committee is trying to get to the bottom of it.

Ask people about the smell on the south side of Milwaukee and you don't have to go far to get people who know what you are talking about.

"A little bit like sewage," said Walker's Point resident Sven Carlson.

"It's pungent, a cross between sewage and general waste," said Alpha Jalloh, who co-chairs the Walker's Point Residence Committee.

Even people living as far away as South Milwaukee know of the odor.

"At certain times you can smell it down there," said Robert Sienkowski, who has lived in South Milwaukee for decades.

Earlier this year, people in Walker's Point asked the MMSD what they can do about it. Compliance Manager Patrick Obenauf said until recently they only had one complaint in five years.

"In general, our odors don't affect the neighbors very much," Obenauf said.

But in the last month or so they have received about a dozen complaint calls. And people are now wondering if MMSD can cap the tanks.

However, that’s an expensive solution. Obenauf said it would cost $4.2 million to partially cover them and $19 million to fully cover them. And he's not sure it would stop the smell.

"Until we can track down even which part of our plant or if it's our conveyance system or something else. Until we can track down exactly what it is, we can't fix the problem," Obenauf said.

But Jalloh said he gets complaints weekly to his committee and they are ready to move forward.

"I think a petition is likely the next step," Jalloh said.

MMSD said they need more complaints on the odor to pinpoint where it is coming from. You can call in an odor complaint at 414-282-7200.