Village Responds To Petroleum-Based Substance Found In Sewer System

Westmont, Illinois – Date Issued: January 19, 2024

Village of Westmont emergency services personnel along with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEAP) and other local agencies have been responding to the report of a noxious odor in Westmont south of the intersection of Cass Avenue and 63rd Street.  No injuries have been reported.

On Thursday, January 18, about 7 p.m., two business tenants from the strip located at 6348-6362 S. Cass Avenue called 911 to report the smell of gas inside their facility.  Village of Westmont Fire and Police along with Westmont Building Division staff responded and confirmed the strong smell of a petroleum-based product, which was coming from the sewer system.  The Village of Westmont shut down the businesses in the strip mall at that time and the owner of the strip hired a company to come and vacuum out the sewer on the property.

At approximately 1:15 p.m. on Friday, January 19, Westmont Fire and Police were called back to the location and confirmed that the noxious smell was still prevalent.  At that time, the hazmat units of MABAS 10 and MABAS 16 became involved to further investigate the situation.  IEPA, U.S. EPA, Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), Downers Grove Sanitary District, DuPage County Public Works, and Westmont Public Works have also been part of the response.

MABAS 10 Hazardous Material Technicians performed an analysis of the substance and determined it is a petroleum-based product used in paint and varnish.

On-going mediation of the situation includes additional cleaning of the sewer system to remove the petroleum-based product, adding emulsifiers into the sewer system to neutralize any potential threat of the product, and ventilating the sewers with fans.

“This is an ongoing operation to remove the substance from the sewer system,” said Fire Chief Steve Riley.  “Thus far, we have not had any other reports regarding this smell beyond the identified property.  Our crews will remain on location until this situation has been resolved. We will provide updates regarding this response if needed.  I want to thank all of our first responders within our Village of Westmont organization as well as all of our local and regional agencies who have been part of this response.”


Contact: Larry McIntyre
Village of Westmont
Communications Director/PIO