ARDMORE, OK - Maria Jimenez said the stench in her northeast Ardmore neighborhood is overpowering.
"if I wanted to walk outside, like an afternoon walk, I don't take it because the smell, sometimes the smell is strong," said Jimenez. "It's like the sewer system."
That smell could be coming from recent Valero refinery activity: pumping water from 9 of its 15 retaining ponds over the past few weeks.
Spokesman Bill Day explains.
"And that actual process of pumping the water out may have led to some increased odors recently," Day said.
Day said they're pumping the ponds to put the water through Valero's water treatment plant, and they hope it will reduce the smell after the process is finished.
And while they're not sure what's causing it he said it's not hazardous, and there's no reason for concern.
"It could just be the fact that it's standing water, stagnant water," said Day.
The Department of Environmental Quality said there's no reason to believe the smell is caused by anything dangerous, and Valero said they've done their own testing that shows there is nothing hazardous in the air.
The company said they should be done pumping the ponds in the next few weeks.