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Origin of mystery smell in CA city still unknown

<i>KSBW</i><br/>Melanie Pardida
Melanie Pardida

By Alani Letang

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    WATSONVILLE, California (KSBW) — Residents of Watsonville have been complaining of a strong sewer-like smell emanating from parts of the city.

“It smells like eggs… it’s just a horrible smell,” said Melanie Pardida, a Watsonville resident who lives near where the smell is coming from.

Jon Woolery, another resident near the smell said the smell is, “Rotten something. Whatever it is it’s rotten.”

Russel Maridon, a Watsonville resident who noticed the bad smell, said, ‘it’s one of those smells I’ve smelt in the past and then it goes away. This is a long lingering one.”

A foul stench is stinking up some areas of Watsonville. People living in the area of Lakeview, Holohan, and Cutter Lane say they’ve been smelling a strong odor for several weeks. Some have said the smell comes on strong early in the morning and again in the evening. Some people have said they are annoyed with the smell, “because you come out and you go someplace and you got this lingering smell of sulfur,” Maridon said.

Others have said they aren’t able to get fresh air.

“I can’t even open up my window because it gives me so many headaches just smelling the odor,” Paridada said.

The smell seems to be a mystery for now. Some neighbors told us they checked their own sewer lines. The City of Watsonville sent crews out to the Lakeview, Holohan, and Cutter Lane area checked all the utilities and found no leaks in the sanitary system.

The City of Watsonville said they don’t believe the origin of the odor is within Watsonville city limits. Now Santa Cruz County Environmental Health is getting involved.

“We’ve done a little bit of surveillance but we are getting organized to do a more thorough testing,” said Audrey Levine, the Water Quality Program Manager; Laboratory Director with the Santa Cruz County Environmental Health.

The county environmental department has the same questions as everyone else. They’ve tested the nearby Kelly and Pinto Lake in the area. They said they have ruled out any relation to a sewer or septic tank, and have been told by inspectors from the Agriculture Commissioners office they don’t believe it’s agriculture-related either.

“We are not finding any lines of evidence that will lead us to where that is coming from. While the odor is a nuisance our mission is to make sure there are no health concerns,” Levine said.

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