Sour smell sullies southeast community
Published Friday, January 17, 2014 5:51PM MST Last Updated Friday, January 17, 2014 6:31PM MST
Some residents of the southeast neighbourhood of McKenzie Lake have noticed an odor in their neighbourhood before but on Thursday it became unbearable for some.
Over the last few years, some people in the community have noticed a smell like rotten eggs in their homes right after the first big spring thaw.
The recent warm weather has brought the putrid odor out and one woman said she became physically ill when she entered her home on Thursday night.
The city says the problem starts in the storm water pond near the McKenzie Towne roundabout.
In summer it is filled with aquatic plants but in winter it freezes over and the vegetation rots.
"The standing water has the rotting vegetation in it and those odors have to go somewhere. They can't be released upwards because there's an ice cap on it. So due to how the wind is blowing and everything else we get a suction actually going through that pipe that ends up going, pulled into the customer's homes," said Randy Girling, Calgary Water Services Department.
City inspectors went door- to-door on Thursday night to check that people’s homes were safe and they also flushed the lines with water to try and drive the smell away.
On Friday afternoon, the city punched holes through the ice to let the gas escape but residents want a more permanent fix and some assurance this won't continue to get worse.
(With files from Bill Macfarlane)