SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) – In South Lake Tahoe, people surrounded by the pristine scenery have also been dealing with a potent stench.
Two million gallons of sewage has been sitting right in the middle of a residential neighborhood.READ MORE: Suspect Arrested After Woman, 42, Killed In Shooting At Arden Arcade Apartment Complex
The South Lake Tahoe Public Utilities District filled up an emergency retention pond in the Black Bart neighborhood when there was more flow than their treatment plant could handle during a planned repair job.
People here describe this smell as something they just haven’t been able to escape.
“I came out and I smelt it and my first thought was, is something burning?” neighbor Brian Rosas said.
“It’s just that constant sense of ‘that ain’t right,’” neighbor Melissa Bird said. “That’s dead water, that’s dead nasty — that ain’t right.
People who live in the Black Bart neighborhood started noticing something wasn’t right right away.READ MORE: VIDEO: Firefighters Narrowly Escape Out Of Tamarack Fire Flames
“Smelled like a little bit of poo,” Rosas said. “It was stinky, it was in the garage, it was everywhere, it was outside, it was in my truck.”
“It just smelled like dead green aquarium gunk,” Bird said.
The source of the smell was a massive emergency pond for waste water. The South Lake Tahoe Public Utility District filled it with 2,000,000 gallons of partially treated wastewater over the weekend when they had problems with a repair job on their treatment plant.
“It’s waste water, it doesn’t smell good,” SLTPUD spokesperson Shelly Thomson said. “And so we try to do the best we can.”
The retention pond once sat on the outskirts of town. Now, after decades of South Lake Tahoe development, it’s at the center of this residential neighborhood, leaving no hiding in an emergency situation when South Lake Tahoe’s Public Utility District needs to do it’s duty.
The utility district says this is the third time in 25 years they’ve had to fill it up like this.MORE NEWS: Dixie Fire Update: 142,940 Acres Now Burned, 18 Percent Containment Reported
They have been pumping the waste water out of the pond and hope to have it completely dry by Wednesday, putting an end to the stench.