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Stinky creeks due to natural processes

Tuesday 6 November 2018

The warmer weather has given rise to some stinky smells coming from some of Eurobodalla’s creeks and lagoons, but residents can rest assured it is a temporary and natural process.

Eurobodalla Council has received complaints regarding unpleasant smells coming from some local creeks, particularly Wimbie Creek and Joe’s Creek in the Batemans Bay region.

It is an issue generally worse throughout the warmer months due to a natural process that occurs at least annually.

These small creeks and lagoons experience a high level of nutrients and other organic pollutants from stormwater inflows and at times kelp that is washed in by heavy seas.

When the waterways don’t have the aerobic conditions (oxygen) needed to process the added nutrients, chemical reactions produced by bacteria can generate the smelly hydrogen sulphide or ‘rotten egg’ gas.

Council expects the prolonged dry weather will have an effect on local intermittent closing lakes and lagoons (ICOLLs), creeks and wetlands and Council will continue to monitor and test any areas of concern.

The smell can be a nuisance but Council assures residents it is unlikely to cause health problems in open environments.

It is entirely natural and temporary, and one of the few downsides of living in close proximity to our beautiful waterways.