SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Many people in Sedgwick County reported an odd smell on Monday, but others did not smell anything.
Several people said the odor smelled like burning rubber. Others say it is like burning plastic, oil, chemicals, or chlorine.
People said they could smell it in Wichita but also in Park City, Derby, Haysville, Goddard, and Augusta.
The City posted this message on social media:
The City’s air quality today is rated as ‘good’ at 30 ppm. We are unaware of what is causing the smell, but it is not currently having an impact on the city’s air quality rating. We’ll keep you updated if we discover the smell origination.”City of Wichita
Kansas Gas Service said it has responded to numerous odor reports in Wichita.
The source of the odor does not appear to be related to our operations. Safety is our top priority, and we encourage anyone who suspects they smell a natural gas odor, often described as smelling like rotten eggs, to leave the area immediately and then call 911 and Kansas Gas Service at 888-482-4950.”Kansas Gas Service
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment sent KSN News this response:
“For some parts of Southern and Eastern Kansas, air quality has been in the moderate range this morning due to wildfire smoke – primarily from Canada – that came in behind a cold front late Saturday afternoon. The smoke will likely continue to disperse from the region today and air quality will continue to improve.”Doug Watson, KDHE’s Air Monitoring and Planning Section Chief
KSN News did some digging into what people are experiencing.
In College Hill, Rachelle Richardson woke up to the scent on Monday.
“I have a new puppy, and I was like, ‘No way this smell cannot be coming from my puppy,'” said College Hill resident Rachelle Richardson.
In Augusta, Matt Wolken could smell it while driving his daughter to school and when he headed to work in Wichita.
“I could smell it still, so I pulled over. I thought it was my car burning oil,” said Augusta resident Matt Wolken.
Some wonder if the scent from feedlots and sewage plants is being carried in the wind.
“When you see all this originating in one place coming in from the West, coming in from the Northwest and then you add in all the wildfire smoke that we’ve had for the last several weeks to the last few months, all of this comes together and produces the smells that we will smell personally,” said KSN Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman.
Some said it is stronger in the morning and at night but goes unnoticed during the day.
“The daytime heating is helping to mix those winds around, but then as the sun sets, those winds start to relax, and then those winds die down. They become virtually calm,” said Teachman.
People are hoping it isn’t harmful and doesn’t stick around.
KSN News reached out to the City of Wichita, fire departments, the state health department, Kansas Gas Service, and college experts, but no one could pinpoint the cause of the smell.
KSN Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman said as the winds pick up into the week, it should start to go away, leaving mornings and nights less smelly.