Smell gets worse in West Allis office building

Published on: 3/21/2014

Everyone thought the sewer smell plaguing a West Allis office building would go away when two neighboring companies stopped loading up the sewer with wastewater, but the smell has only gotten worse.

For the last four or five years, employees at an office building housing We Energies, 500 S. 116th St., have felt ill and some have gone home sick, said Brian Manthey, We Energies spokesman.

Sewer fumes have emanated from restrooms but other fumes have come through the building's ventilation system.

The city has stepped in because of a possible health hazard. It notified the newer of the wastewater companies that the discharge limit was lower than it was pouring into the sewers and flows were reduced to the proper limit, Development Director John Stibal reported Tuesday to the Common Council Safety and Development Committee.

Another possible source of the smell is a plumbing leak and city officials had hoped that smoke testing would find one. Testing was done last week, but the plumbing proved tight, Stibal said.

City officials will seek a solution when they meet down with representatives of We Energies, the two wastewater companies, Elite Environmental and Central Waste Treatment of Wisconsin, both of 360 S. Curtis Road, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and other companies that also are on the sewer line.

The meeting is intended to happen before the end of March. If the fix doesn't work, officials will be back before the committee to decide where to go from there.