(Sept 11, 2012) When the rotten egg smell wafted into the Santa Clarita United Methodist Church in Saugus on Monday morning, Kathy Gray thought the church’s sewer pipe had burst. More than 70 miles to the east, steelworker Chris Tatum’s nostrils got the punch in Riverside. He assumed a brush fire had just broken out. “It smells like rotten mush.” Southern California awoke Monday morning to a foul odor that wouldn’t go away. Residents clogged 911 lines with calls, prompting health officials from Ventura County to Palm Springs to send investigators looking for everything from a toxic spill to a sewer plant leak. The prime suspect, however, lay more than 100 miles away from Los Angeles. The leading theory is that the stink was caused by the annual die-off of fish in the Salton Sea. Officials believe Sunday evening’s thunderstorms and strong winds churned up the water and pushed that dead-fish smell to points west overnight. Officials from the Air Quality Management District and other agencies said they have never dealt with a stench quite like this. Although the fish die-off usually causes foul odors in parts of the Inland Empire, officials cannot recall it traveling this far. “It’s very unusual that any odor would be this widespread, from the Coachella to Los Angeles County,” said Sam Atwood, spokesman for the South Coast Air Quality Management District. “We’re talking well over 100 miles.
- Salton Sea may have caused mysterious stench (abclocal.go.com)
- Foul stink likely tied to dead fish at Salton Sea, strong winds – Los Angeles Times (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- Salton Sea eyed as culprit of big stink in Calif. (news.yahoo.com)
- Rotten smell wreaks havoc across Southern California (theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com)
- Stench across Southland blamed on Salton Sea fish (laobserved.com)