An unusual smell in Milford is coming from the Iowa Great Lakes Sanitary Sewer system.

“The samples are coming back and we’re not 100% sure, but we’re really close,” says Steve Anderson, the sewer district’s director. “There are traces of ethanol in it. There’s a lot of components of gasoline so it looks like it’s possibly a gasoline source that’s causing the smell that we’re finding.”

Anderson says they’re using a pretty LOW TECH method to difuse the buildup at the end of the line.

“At the lift station…where all the water collects and then it gets pumped down to a certain level, that gasoline or whatever the material is — I think it’s gasoline — but it’s sitting at the top of that lift station, at the top of the water, so we’ve gone in a couple of times and sucked that out,” Anderson says. “We’ve worked with the DNR in how to handle that. We’ve got a tank that we’re putting it in and then just letting that gasoline evaporate off of the waters.”

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is collecting soil samples in the area to try to determine where what is suspected to be gasoline may be coming from. The Iowa Great Lakes Sanitary Sewer District maintains 120 miles of sewer that serves seven communities and some unincorporated areas.

(By Matt McWilliams, KICD, Spencer)