Random Lengths News
Foul Smells in Carson
What is happening?
“It’s a small bridge right next to the 405 and it goes over a split off of the main channel,” Matheny said. “And once you go upstream of that bridge, you don’t smell anything. The moment you go downstream of that bridge, you can smell it so they believe that there is something under the bridge.”
Matheny insists that there are no long-term health risks for residents. But the smell is horrendous.
“Listen, I can tell you, it’s a terrible smell,” he said. “It smells like something is decomposing. I was a paramedic for a number of years before I was promoted to engineer and I’ve seen a lot of decomposing bodies. And it’s that smell of something decomposing. It is horrible.”
Mark Pestrella, director of Los Angeles County Public Works said the odor is a natural occurring process of vegetational decay that creates low dissolved oxygen level, which creates hydrogen sulfide. He said the lack of rainfall and heat has made the situation worse.
“They created organic material and then rapidly died off and when the material rapidly dies off it releases a tremendous amount of hydrogen sulfide,” Pestrella said.
Pestrella said the high levels of hydrogen sulfide are extremely unusual.
“What’s unusual about this event is its persistence and the length and the strength of the smell,” he added. “I really do appreciate the over 800 people who have called us.”
The Department of Public Works states it is still sampling water in the channel to see if there are any additional pollutants of concern beyond the hydrogen sulfide. There is still no solid plan on how to get rid of the smell. Public Works is hoping that the sampling could help develop scientific solutions to get rid of the odor or to put oxygen into the water.
Until then, residents are expected to be patient and wait.
“Most of the time, these kinds of odors dissipate fairly quickly,” Pestrella said. “This one is not dissipating at the rate that we expected it to. I’m looking to solve the problem as quickly as possible with my major objective: protecting your health. Second objective is to investigate and find the problem and to remediate it as quickly as possible.”
How easily and how quickly is still up in the air.
“Clean it up!” Coleman exclaimed. “Some people may need to be compensated for their time away from home. But the most important thing is that they need to make it safe for us to live here.”
Jason Low, assistant deputy executive officer of Science & Technology Advancement representing the South Coast Air Quality Management District said they received more than 1,000 complaints from residents of Long Beach, Wilmington, Gardena, and other surrounding cities.
Coleman decided she will stay at a hotel away from the Dominguez Channel.
“It’s sad to have to leave your home,” she said.
Mayor Lula-Davis Holmes announced a reimbursement system for residents who need to buy any supplies to alleviate the burden of smell. Details: 800-675-5857; PW.lacounty.gov Reimbursement details: 800-675-4357