Friday, October 30, 2009

The Smell That Ensnared Mission Viejo

UPDATE

November 11, 2009 - It's RALLY TIME, people! See the newest post for details: http://finkythekid.blogspot.com/2009/11/stench-rally-at-mission-viejo-city-hall.html


The Santa Margarita Water District is supposed to have an update this afternoon (10/30) on their progress for correcting the "algael bloom" and how long until we can go outside again without it smelling like a giant rotten egg. Check http://www.smwd.com/ or call them:
949-459-6420 (Business hours)
949-361-6294 (After hours)

Hit the "Samuel L. Bronkowitz" title at the top of this page to take you to the other updates on the main page of this blog.

Mission Viejo, CA stinks. I mean, it reeks to high heaven. There is a sulphurous odor so malignant and intrusive, it has enveloped the neighborhood and penetrated the walls of my house for nearly 48 hours.


My first encounter with the mysterious malodor occured as my wife and I drove home two nights ago. Turning through the intersection at El Toro and Rancho Santa Margarita Pkwy, the air inside our car suddenly became infused with a putrid sulphur smell. Sometimes there seems to be pockets of this nasty smell in various places we drive through and we figured it'd pass. Unfortunately, the smell only intensified the further we drove. Now approaching the intersection of Rancho Santa Margarita and Maguerite Pkwy, the stench was nearly overwhelming.

We pulled into our garage and quickly closed the door, hoping to keep the foul rotten egg smell from invading out house, only to find the inside of the house smelled almost as bad as the neighborhood around us.

"Oh my god," my wife exclaimed, "this smell is TERRIBLE!"

And, indeed it was. Like an invisible Fog of rotting putricity, this sudden, terrible odor had settled upon our neighborhood and invaded our home. I felt bad for our cats who had to be there with it the whole day.

"But, what do I do?" I wondered aloud.

If you want to report a crime, you call the police. A medical emergency or fire? Call 9-1-1. But what do you do when there's an outrageously offensive odor covering at least a square mile of public and private land? I was at a loss. So, I took to the internet.

But I found nothing about it on the mews, the local paper, or an extensve Google search. What could possibly be causing this incredibly bad smell? Settling into bed coughing and trying to ignore the sulphur smell that hung in the room, I figured, maybe there'd be something about it on the news or internet the next morning.

Better yet, maybe it'll blow away in the night.

Nope.

The next morning, it was still bad. When we got home that night, STILL horrible. I took to the internet again, but this time found a new story from several years ago about a "sulphur" smell that cropped up in another part of the County. It said "to report an odor call the Orange County Water & Santitation district." Perfect!

Unfortunately, the OCWSD serves only part of the County- and not the part I live in. But, they were able to direct me to my water provider -Santa Margarita Water District. NOW, we were getting somewhere. I called SMWD and got their after-hours answering service, who was well aware of the problem from the volume of calls they were getting, but had no idea what was causing it either.

The following morning (the third day now!) the sulphur stench still swallowed the neighborhood. So, I called SMWD back and finally - an answer!

An "algae bloom" in the Upper Oso Reservoir (about 1/2 mile north of my house.) Apparently, the oxygen levels were incredibly low, which gave rise to an (anaerobic?) algae, which was now going gangbusters and sending this ridiculously bad smell into neighboring developments.

Sadly, this story has no ending yet in sight. Although SMWD is responsible for maintaining the Reservoir and is actively working on the algae problem. At this time (1pm on 10/30/09) they did not have an estimate for how long it would take for the smell to dissipate permanently. SMWD said that they are doign something to churn the water in the reservoir which will help re-oxygenate it and get rid of the algae, but that was all the specifics they could give me on the "solution." They did advise that the common green areas in that part of Mission Viejo are fed by water from the Reservoir, so that will continue to perpetuate the stench until the water is cleansed.


So, there you have it.


Anybody else out there smelling this horrible, horrible smell?

202 comments:

1 – 200 of 202   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for the info. I live in an area next to the reservoir and was totally baffled by what could cause the stench. I searched the internet for any news regarding to it but found none until I stumbled into your blog entry. Thanks again.

Warpfield said...

We live in the Pinecrest community and haven't gotten a decent night's sleep for three days. Its absolutely incredible the strength of the stench and its persistance. I expact this is something we will have to deal with for several more days, or even longer.

What I find interesting however, we have been in this house for around twelve years and have never endured this stench before. Why now?

finky the kid said...

Warpfield & Anonymous, thanks for your comments. Know that there's solidarity here with your fellow Mission Viejo brethern.

The SMWD.com website has a scrolling message across the top that has some info, but it's pretty vague. I've been calling them to ask for updates.

Their daytime number is 949-459-6420 and hit "0" for a customer service rep. After 5pm call 949-361-6294. It'll be their answering service, but they may still have an update.
AND they are logging all these calls. Which means they can see the continuous volume of complaints that will hopefully keep the pressure on to fix this quickly. They also have a specific interest in seeing what the affected range of this phenomenon is, so they may ask what street you live on.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that the reservoir does not get maintained as often as it should.

finky the kid said...

SMWD says there's some kind of solar powered "fans" in the water that are supposed to keep it "moving" and help re-oxygenate it, but I guess they weren't on, which allowed the algae to accumulate.

They tell me that the "fans" are now moving again and are churning the water in the reservoir. This is supposed to somehow stop the algae. They had no idea how long until the smell stops.

I found it interesting, too that the water that irrigates the common and green areas arounf this part of MV and RSM COMES FROM the Upper Oso Reservoir. Which means that even when the smell ceases from the reservoir, there may be another day or two as it works its way through the irrigation system.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your research! I have had a headache for 3 days due to this putrid smell. I too have cats and feel terrible for them! I live on the Santa Margarita/Marguerite border and it wakes me in my sleep the last 2 nights. My entire apartment reeks. It is nearly unbearable. I'm hoping it is cleared up soon, as I CAN'T TAKE MUCH MORE!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I thought I was going crazy. I called SMWD early Wednesday AM and they played totally dumb. My kids and I have been having dizziness and nausea from the smell which is horrid! We back to a geeenbelt which is watered from the Oso Resevoir and in the summer it gets swampy and I have called the water district before, but this is unbearable! Thanks for the research!

Anonymous said...

Yes, thank you for the info. We have been under seige...glad to at least know what was causing the stink.

Anonymous said...

Thank you my husband and I live off La Barca by marg and santa margarita pkwy and couldn't believe the horrible smell!

Anonymous said...

It's a sewer line break (near Painted Trails)and has been running in to the res.
They used a great cover story.

Anonymous said...

I thought my dog was farting until i left for work and realized that the smell was worse outside!

robin said...

I live in the Mallorca (Marguerite and Vista del Lago) and have smelled the odor only at night since the strong winds from 4-5 days ago. I'm concerned that it's creating a health hazard (airborne bacteria,virus or fungus). I appear to becoming down with a respiratory infection. Anyone else getting sick?

Anonymous said...

I live off of Los Alisos and Rancho Santa Margarita Pkwy and the stench has been awful. It seems to have gotten worse in the last 24 hrs. Yesterday we could smell it outside, but today it woke me at 5:45 a.m. because my entire house is enveloped in this stench.

What's worse is that my family and I are also suffering from a horrible respiratory infection right now too. It is extremely frustrating that I can't breathe clean air in my own home. I hope this algae bloom doesn't exasperate an already bad respiratory condition.

Anonymous said...

I thought I was going crazy until I found your blog. Thanks for being the only person to post something about this. No thanks to the OC Register or local news.

Anonymous said...

I just wrote to the OC Register and local media outlets. Maybe some press will light a fire under SMWD to promptly take care of this and not let it happen again. If you have the time, please do the same. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that the Pinecrest Community Association is still pumping this water on our slopes. PLEASE! Give those slope sprinklers a rest for a few days until the water problem clears up. IT STINKS!!

Anonymous said...

Thank heaven somebody has the answer! I live near Marguerite & Trabuco and the smell is terrible. I actually walked around outside at 4am trying to figure out what the smell was. (Our slopes got watered around 3:00.) It was making us dizzy and throats sore. I'm writing to the OC Register about it.

Anonymous said...

I was also thinking about calling the local news stations. Like the others on this site, I am also getting sick from the smell and it is in my home as well. It is getting worse and not better. I found this site today because I almost cannot take this anymore and I agree, I believe this is creating a health condition for everyone. I am thankful for all the information posted. Who is the person that said it was a sewer line break? Could this be true and they are covering this up? That is a violation and spreads diseases, not that this situation doesn't and we don't even know it. I like everyone else cannot even sleep at night anymore and like I said, it really is getting worse. I am going to suggest that the local news go to this blog page.

Anonymous said...

I just called the water district and they said they are "well aware of the problem" and are working to fix it. The lady was also quick to tell me that it posts "no health hazard". Sore throats and dizziness sound a little hazardous to me. I'd like to see some verification on the sewer leak. That would be really serious.

Anonymous said...

OK, I just posted the last comment and I went and called the news channel 7, which by the way is 877-777-6397. Everyone need to call. Secondly, I went and got sick.. seriously. Thirdly, I called Mission Hospital to see if anyone else was coming in getting sick from this. The lady that answered the phone asked me where I lived. When I told her she told me that she was dealing with this problem all last month and she lives by the hospital and it was really bad. She said it went all the way to PCH. They were doing construction. She said it was in her house and even in her water and she could taste it and smell it when she took a shower. She called the county and everything. She said it lasted 3-weeks but now it is gone. It had something to do with the construction that they were doing underground. She thought she was going crazy. I don't know what to say but I don't think that I can put up with this for 3-weeks. She told me to call the county and if I got sick to call CDC. I encourage everyone to call the news though. Lets see if we can't put a fire under them or something. -DEBBIE

Anonymous said...

Awesome blog on the smell. I guess we are all in this together. It is Halloween night (about 6:30 PM) and the smell has just returned to Marguerite and Mountain. Earlier tonight my wife and I drove by the Oso Reservoir, it was pea soup green. That can't be good.

Anonymous said...

We live in the Painted Trails community and didn't even realize (until we found this blog) that since this putrid odor has been around (about a week now) our family has not felt 100% healthy. My daughter has a sudden cough, my wife has been sluggish and I just don't feel like I should. Whether this situation has contributed to that, I don't know, but I sure would like to. We need some communication here from some agency to put my mind to rest. I can deal with an odor (even though I don't want to), but this needs to be addressed immediatley to the surrounding communites. Did I mention it stinks around here?

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that some of the water is used for irrigation of the local communities. I wonder how much of a danger this represents to our kids and pets running in the grass

Anonymous said...

Algae Blooms - Impact on Public Health CDC Web Site http://www.cdc.gov/hab/about.htm


ABOUT HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS (HABs)


Background

Algae are vitally important to marine and fresh-water ecosystems, and most species of algae are not harmful. However, a harmful algal bloom (HAB) can occur when certain types of microscopic algae grow quickly in water, forming visible patches that may harm the health of the environment, plants, or animals. HABs can deplete the oxygen and block the sunlight that other organisms need to live, and some HAB-causing algae release toxins that are dangerous to animals and humans. HABs can occur in marine, estuarine, and fresh waters, and HABs appear to be increasing along the coastlines and in the surface waters of the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Responding to this suspected increase, the U.S. Congress in 1998 passed a law that required NOAA to lead an Inter-Agency Task Force on Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia, and funded research into the origins, types, and possible human health effects of HABs.
top
Assessing the Impact on Public Health

Although scientists do not yet understand fully how HABs affect human health, authorities in the United States and abroad are monitoring HABs and developing guidelines for HAB-related public health action. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has added certain algae associated with HABs to its Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List. This list identifies organisms and toxins that EPA believes are priorities for investigation.

CDC works with public health agencies, universities, and federal partners to investigate how the following algae, which can cause HABs, may affect public health:

* Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, can produce toxins that may taint drinking water and recreational water. Humans who drink or swim in water that contains high concentrations of cyanobacteria or cyanobacterial toxins may experience gastroenteritis, skin irritation, allergic responses, or liver damage.

* Harmful marine algae, such as those associated with red tides, occur in the ocean and can produce toxins that may harm or kill fish and marine animals. Humans who eat shellfish containing toxins produced by these algae may experience neurologic symptoms (such as tingling fingers or toes) and gastrointestinal symptoms. Breathing air that contains toxins from algae associated with red tide may cause susceptible individuals to have asthma attacks.

* Pfiesteria piscicida, a single-celled organism that lives in estuaries, has been found near large quantities of dead fish. Scientists do not yet know whether P. piscicida affects human health. However, reports about symptoms such as headache, confusion, skin rash, and eye irritation in humans exposed to water containing high concentrations of P. piscicida have prompted public concern.

Benny said...

Finally, my question has been answered! I live in Mission Viejo, and this horrible smell has been bothering me for the past few days. They better clean up that algae, cause I can't stand it! But thanks for the info :)

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh...thank you so much for this info...I live behind Portola Plaza and I started smelling this like 5 days ago...I even told my neighbor to go check his propane tank, I thought he may have left it on!! Then I started stressing thinking my sewer pipes around my house had broken!! I haven't slept good for 4 nights now, and am nauseous it's really bad!! Look, I'm writing this at 5:27 in the morning...can't sleep!!!!

Anonymous said...

Please consider writing the media outlets like others have. It's a really good idea to write OC Weekly too since the OC Register is the Fox
News of print journalism. They tend to favor business over people and will probably blame us for having noses and lungs before putting any accountability on SMWD. The only way OC Reg would write something bad about SMWD is if a major chain hotel complains about loss of business.

I'd like to know where to send the bill for my surgical masks my family is wearing at night, or for the hotel room I'm thinking of renting until SMWD fixes this problem.

Anonymous said...

I hope the city council members spend a little less time in prayer circle and more time voting to lay off the sprinklers until this problem is rectified.

It is ironic that in keeping up with the aesthetics of Mission Viejo, the city is watering the greenbelts with what smells like toxic sludge and possibly harming it's residents health. Algae blooms have killed sea lions, fish and birds in the past.

Quite frankly I'm shocked not more people are complaining so this gets media attention or at least posting about it here. Welcome to "Stepford" (and/or "Agrestic").

Anonymous said...

It appears as though SMWD has had this problem before, but why are we suffering through this again? There are ALWAYS temperature changes & other water districts seem to not be surprised and affected by normal temp changes: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/water-reservoir-irrigation-2077237-system-temperature

Anonymous said...

This is going on too long. I sent an email to Fox News and KCal 9 in hopes that they can get this resolved. At night it just gets unbearable. It does help to burn scented candles in your home...

Todd J. Haser said...

Thank you for posting on this... this was the only info I found on what was causing this... My fam and I live by Alicia and Trabuco and it WREAKS to holy high heaven this morning... Arghhh... One of the things I love about living here is being able to have the windows open and enjoy the beautiful air (we moved from Gilbert, AZ where is smelled bad all the time - due to horses and cows, etc). I hope this gets fixed soon - cuz I'd rather have the low cost of living of AZ and smell horse-arse than this!

Anonymous said...

I visited the SMWD website this morning. I am disappointed that they claim with certainty that "The situation does not pose any health risks".

My wife and child woke-up this morning complaining of a sore throat and congested sinuses.

The gas being released form the bacteria in the reservoir is Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) also known as "sewer gas". It results from the breakdown of organic matter present in the reclaimed water.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/factsheets/hydrogensulfide.htm) exposure to hydrogen sulfide at low concentrations can affect several different systems in the body, including the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Exposure at higher concentrations is more serious.

At this point in time it is difficult to determine the level of exposure we are experiencing or what might be the effects of prolonged exposure. Based on reading some of the posts in this blog it sounds like the members in the community are being affected from a health perspective.

There are air purifiers that can can remove hydrogen sulfide gas from the air in our homes. We have one running in our home. It seems to help.

Hopefully we will get more information soon from SMWD or the County Health Department concerning the risks the gas poses to our health (whether significant or not) at this point in time.

Anonymous said...

Found out the reason for the smell from a Trick-or-treating child's mother. The smell is horrible and I live in the Pinecrest community, also. I work at Lake Forest Elem. school off El Toro road and we could all smell the rotton orders this past week there in the A.M.

Thanks for the info. I am surprised there has been nothing on the news about this. Usually, they report on sillier things than this cirucumstance which is affecting a very large area in s. O.C. Thanks again for the research!

Anonymous said...

We also woke up with sore throats and irritated sinuses.

I saw the SMWD website and their lack of info regarding how much longer their maintenance issue will cause this smell. The city of MV has NOTHING on their site with any information.

I assume SMWD and the city of MV will never admit to any health risks, lest they be liable for damages they actually cause. I hope there is an attorney whoh can research this further on behalf of the fine residents of MV.

My family hasn't had a decent nights sleep in the past three days and are considering renting a hotel room in another city whose water district seems to have predictable and normal temperature changes under control.

We have to move in the next 30-days and were looking for another place in MV, but this past week has definitely changed our minds about staying in MV, sadly.

You can write to city administrators and the Mayor here: publicworks@cityofmissionviejo.org publicservices@cityofmissionviejo.org fury@cityofmissionviejo.org cityadmin@cityofmissionviejo.org lmaclean@cityofmissionviejo.org cschlicht@cityofmissionviejo.org jpledesma@cityofmissionviejo.org
tkelley@cityofmissionviejo.org

Anonymous said...

http://www.smwd.com/publications/OnTap_June08_web.pdf

wow! Be carefull what you brag about SMWD!

Seriously- what will it take to get them to turn "off" all the irrigation until this clears up?!?

Anonymous said...

Hello Everyone, this is Debbie again. Just to let everyone know, I called Fox news and Channel 7 news. In informed them of the problem 2 times and they do not seem to care. Maybe it will take several callers. I also told them to go to this web page specifically so that they can see the complaints that are being said about how bad it really is. I wrote a comment to RSMWD and informed them that they shouldn't say on their webpage that people "MAY Smell an odor", That saying that way totally ubsurd. I also informed them they need to give people more information. At this point in time I am seriously starting to believe that something is being covered up somewhere because I am getting nowhere with anyone. I just think they don't want to create complete havoc concerning this issue. Can you imagine what this would do if they told you that this is creating a health issue? How many potential lawsuits they would have on their hands. Seriously folks, I am sick. My lips are chapped, throat is sore, nausea is an everyday thing now, and it is because of the sewer gas smell. It's getting worse. I don't know about anyone else, but my appetite has changed as well. My cats are also not feeling well. I can tell. They are not eating the same.

My brother told me yesterday, he lives at Toledo and El Toro, that he can smell the odor in his home as well. That completely shocked me. I didn't think it travelled that far.

The more people that call the news stations the better. Maybe they will do something. Regards to all. Here's that number again for the news station--1-877-777-6397. PLEASE CALL

Once again, Thanks so much for starting this Blog page.--Debbie

Anonymous said...

It's apparent that temperature changes isn't making the odor waft through the air and cover Mission Viejo as much as the watering of the greenbelts is.

In addition to calling ABC and other media outlets we should INSIST that the city stop irrigating the greenbelts until SMWD AND the city of MV clear up THEIR problem that feels like a slow poisoning of MV residents.

Anonymous said...

I live in Painted Trails and my house backs up to the resivor. I called the SMWD on Wednesday night when the smell became very bad and again on Thursday morining. They told me on Thursday morning that the city did a large landscaping project and they layed a lot of manure and that is where the smell was coming from. I told them there is no way that smell is manure. I hoped that the smell would go away but that night it was bad again and when I called back on Friday morning they told me it was an alge issue at the resivor. Since this smell started I have had a constant headache and everyone in my house has been congested. I think that the smell is gone and then I go and open a closet in my house and the smell is overwhelming. Closing the windows does not help it is like it is coming in other places. I hope that this goes away soon I don't know how much longer we can take it!

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for being the only place online with any information on the stench.

My question is, why is SMWD giving more than one explanation for what is taking place? That seems very suspicious.

Also, if SMWD didn't turn on the solar powered fans that is supposed to prevent algae blooms, isn't that negligent? Whose responsibility did turning on the fans belong to and will there be disciplinary action as well as revised guidelines to prevent this from happening in the future?

Where does the city stand on this and why won't the cease watering the greenbelts and subjecting the residents to this torture until the noxious fumes are gone?

bestdaba said...

Thank you for this lifeline to sanity. I thought I had dead rats in my walls....my grandaughter, who goes to Trabuco Hills High School, said they were told by a teacher that it was a sewage back up. But then, why only at night? I live in Eastbrook, off La Barca, my Daughter lives in Evergreen, on Tobarra...we both are suffering with this smell. Thanks again for all the info, I'm sending this link to everyone I know in MV!

Anonymous said...

Not to take away from any of your pain and suffering from an everyday cold, but the complaints seem a bit excessive. I am sure that there is an equal number of sore throats and stuffy noses in other cities as well. Do you really think getting the media involved will help? Don't you think that SMWD is doing all they can. All this whining is just annoying

Anonymous said...

Whining??? You either work for the SMWD, or you live in Montana, not in North Mission Viejo....the smell has kept the neighborhood sleepless in Saddleback Valley..

Anonymous said...

Whining?

Well... how wise are you to read all of the "whining" and annoy yourself, genius.

Go back to watching Fox News - they're losing viewers daily and need to pander to people like you.

Anonymous said...

I don't think any of us are whinning you fool. We are all concerned with are health and the health of our families and pets. Not to mention without this site not a single one of us has gotten a honest straight up answer as of yet or when the problem is going to be fixed. Why don't you ptich a tent next to the reservoir or anywhere in the vicinity for a night or 2 lets see how ill you become. Bring your pet. No, don't do that, I feel sorry for the pet. You obviously have no clue what we are all going through. This is really unbearable. Don't you think I have other things to do? I have a very busy life which is why I would love to get some freaking sleep and be able to breathe in my own home.

finky the kid said...

Friends, thank you for all your comments. Good to know I'm NOT alone afetrall.

It eases the mind a little knowing that (A) we as individuals aren't "crazy" thinking we're the only ones smelling this foulness and (B) we can all try to make our complaints heard to media outlets, if SMWD isn't willing to take expeditious actions to resolve this issue.

Frankly, I don't know how quickly this "algae" issue can be cleared up, but I find it troublesome that, apparently, NEITHER DOES SMWD.

It's interesting that some people have heard something about a sewer break being part of this problem, too. Don't know what to make of that.

Like many of you, I live in Pinecrest and I've noticed since Saturday that the smell seems to dissipate mid-morning, then return at sundown. (I feel like Stephen King wrote a story sorta like this!)

I've been concerned about the health implications of the continuous exposure to "the Stench", but it was only this mornign that i started noticing a sore throat. My wife hasn't slept well for days, either.

I'm guessing the Anonymous poster at 4:06pm today doesn't live in the affected area b/c if you did, you would understand the comments on this post are SO not excessive.

it's amazing in this techno-savy world we now live in that you can share all kinds of experiences with almost anyone you want to , almost anywhere inthe world. But the one thing YouTube/cellphones/etc can't appropriately share with others is an OLFACTORY experience like this. To try and tell someone it smells like the biggest, densest rotten egg smell EVER only comes off as superlative. Even people who want to sympathize, but haven't smelled it, can't quite get the full effect of what this terrible, terrible Stench is like. It's inescapable when it comes, too. Inside, outside, it gets to you.

I had to go take a deep breath near my cat litter boxes yesterday morning just to get a breath of "fresh" air. (Which didn't really work, sadly.)

Anyway, thanks to everyone who has made calls to SMWD, the TV stations, & the papers. I've noticed there are a few articles out there on the web finally. Will post them in another update above.

You guys rock. We'll get through this together!

Anonymous said...

Does it seem to be better this evening anyone? It's 5:14 pm.

finky the kid said...

Now's the moment of truth.
Seems to return at sundown.

I just stepped outside and so far, so good.

What about others?

Anonymous said...

I am the one that posted the 5:14 comment and my window backs up to the reservoir. I can usually smell it really bad about now and I thought it was me. But maybe they fixed it, partially. My neighbor can't smell it either. How dear Lord. Maybe it's fixed. Pray that it is.

Anonymous said...

Actually right now it seems okay...but I went to the beach today to get away from this rotten air, so maybe my nostrils still have the beach air in them....let's all keep our fingers crossed.....I do have to say the person that said they thought their dog was farting did help..humor can get you through some bad situations.....We'll get through this.....

Anonymous said...

Sorry to inform everyone it is still here. I thought it was gone, but I just went outside and it was awful and it starting to come inside my home again. What the hell is going on. Oh dear Lord. I posted the 5:14 comment. I hope the person does pop a tent.

Cori L. said...

At least the OC Register listened to my complaint. You should post your comments there too and link back to this blog.

I'm still concerned that the city hasn't shut down irrigating with this putrid smelling water.

This is the reply I received, with the link to the story. I wish it made it to their print paper too - maybe it will this week.

"Hi Cori:

We have a brief story online today about the odor. You can find the story here:
http://sciencedude.freedomblogging.com/2009/11/01/algae-bloom-causes-bad-smell-in-mission-viejo-area/66177/

We also will see what else we can find out. Thank you very much for
alerting us to this situation.

Ann Haley
online news manager
The Orange County Register
625 N. Grand Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92701
714-796-6904"


PS - To the "whiner" post idiot, please drive to North Mission Viejo and stand outside your car anytime after 11pm. See how long your sinuses can take it. And then realize the strength of the odor outside is not much heavier than the putrid smell inside our HOMES. I've duct taped our pet door closed, and our windows are less than 3 yrs old and sealed very well, but the stench still takes over our home.

Secondly, I think in my 38 yrs I've come to recognize the difference between a cold, flu and sinus irritation from fumes/odors, but thanks for your uplifting words. Continue to spread your positivity in life, "keyboard tough guy."

Anonymous said...

We should all get together after this gets solved and have a "SAY NO TO ALGAE BLOOMS" bbq....I'll bring the deviled eggs :^}

finky the kid said...

Cori, thanks for the post. I'll put a direct link to this page on the OC Register blog page so they can see the dearth of comments about this pungent pestilence.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post and information - that explains it then!!

Anonymous said...

I live in the older part of RSM, and luckily I don't smell it. However, I unfortunately attend Trabuco Hills High school, where the stench is. Recently, the school has been having sewage problems (they pumped the sewer contents into the parking lot, and they're constantly turning off the water), and I found that the stench worsened after these. Coincidence? I think not.

Anonymous said...

We live in Painted Trails (El Toro and the 241) and our backyard looks over the Oso Reservoir and my husband and I are physically ill (I have burning eyes, nasal congestion, am sneezing constantly and have had intestinal problems since late last week...my husband is suffering from headaches and lethargy). To say that the overwhelming stench of rotten eggs is in the air is an understatement. The waters of the reservoir have been a puke green/gray color and the odor intensifies in the evening...God forbid we accidentally leave our windows open. In the morning when I go into my garage, it reeks of the odor and I even smell it when I run my car's air conditioner. We've lived in Painted Trails since 2000 and never have we experienced anything this bad.

Anonymous said...

My house backs up to the resivor. It is back tonight and is not any better - I don't know if I can take another night of this! I have my house completey closed off and I still get waves of the strong oder.

Anonymous said...

It's back. And so is my irritated throat, runny nose, burning eyes as well as my cough. My poor child is suffering the same symptoms. They only occur at night when the watering of Mission Viejo starts.

Christie said...

After I posted my comment earlier, I started searching for more information about this algae bloom in the Oso Reservoir and how the water district says it poses no health risk.

My question is, how can we be sure that this isn't harmful? As I sit here and look at my computer screen through my burning eye and once again start to sneeze, I wanted to post something I read on the CDC's website. I wonder if the toxins release by the dying algae are becoming aerosolized and making us sick, especially those of us whose backyards overlook Oso Reservoir.

http://www.cdc.gov/hab/cyanobacteria/facts.htm

Background
Algae are vitally important to marine and fresh-water ecosystems, and most species of algae are not harmful. However, a harmful algal bloom (HAB) can occur when certain types of microscopic algae grow quickly in water, forming visible patches that may harm the health of the environment, plants, or animals. HABs can deplete the oxygen and block the sunlight that other organisms need to live, and some HAB-causing algae release toxins that are dangerous to animals and humans.

Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, grow in any type of water and are photosynthetic (use sunlight to create food and support life). They usually are too small to be seen, but sometimes can form visible colonies, called an algal bloom.

Cyanobacterial blooms (a kind of algal bloom) occur when organisms that are normally present grow exuberantly. Within a few days, an bloom of cyanobacteria can cause clear water to become cloudy. The blooms usually float to the surface and can be many inches thick, especially near the shoreline. Cyanobacterial blooms can form in warm, slow-moving waters that are rich in nutrients such as fertilizer runoff or septic tank overflows. Blooms can occur at any time, but most often occur in late summer or early fall.
They can occur in marine, estuarine, and fresh waters, but the blooms of greatest concern are the ones that occur in fresh water, such as drinking water reservoirs or recreational waters.

Some cyanobacterial blooms can look like foam, scum, or mats on the surface of fresh water lakes and ponds. The blooms can be blue, bright green, brown, or red and may look like paint floating on the water. Some blooms may not affect the appearance of the water. As algae in a cyanobacterial bloom die, the water may smell bad.

Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CyanoHABs)
are algae blooms that threaten people, animals, or the environment. They are dangerous for many reasons:
Dense CyanoHABs can block sunlight and use up all the oxygen in the water, killing other plants and animals.
Some cyanobacteria that can form CyanoHABs produce toxins that are among the most powerful natural poisons known. These toxins have no known antidotes.
CyanoHABs can make people, their pets, and other animals sick. Often, the first sign that an HAB exists is a sick dog that has been swimming in an algae-filled pond.
Children are at higher risk than adults for illness from CyanoHABs because they weigh less and can get a relatively larger dose of toxin.

CyanoHABs can make drinking water smell and taste bad.
They can make recreational areas unpleasant

How you could be exposed to CyanoHABs and cyanotoxins:
Drinking water that comes from a lake or reservoir with a CyanoHAB.
Drinking untreated water.
Engaging in recreational activities in waters with CyanoHABs.
Inhaling aerosols from water-related activities such as jet-skiing or boating.
Inhaling aerosols when watering lawns, irrigating golf-courses, etc. with pond water.
Using cyanobacteria-based dietary supplements that are contaminated with microcystins.
Receiving dialysis (this has been documented only in Brazil).

Get medical treatment right away if you think you, your pet, or your livestock might have been poisoned by cyanobacterial toxins.
Remove people from exposure and give them supportive treatment.

http://www.cdc.gov/hab/cyanobacteria/facts.htm

Anonymous said...

I can't go out of my apartment at night. I notified the EPA through their wedsite. If someone wants to call the AQMD the number is 1-800-288-7664 (24/7). Fortunately I am going to Kansas City on Tuesday and will be able to get some fresh air for 10 days!

Christie said...

The article in the OC Register states, "This year the recent cold spell came with strong winds that mixed the water suddenly creating conditions that caused an algae bloom which used up the oxygen which resulted in odors." Well, from what I have read, the smell results from the toxins released by the dying algae, not from a lack of oxygen in the water.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely ridiculious! I live at the Madrid Apartments, directly across the toll-road from the reservoir and it stinks so bad. I have a constant head-ache and I've been sneezing like crazy. The water district can go fuck themselves. They're not doing nearly enough to stop the problem. None of their elected members will be receiving a vote from me next time they run for election.

Christie said...

My last post of the night:

http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/A-Bi/Algal-Blooms-in-Fresh-Water.html#ixzz0VgFBweS5

Aquatic ecologists are concerned with blooms (very high cell densities) of algae in reservoirs, lakes, and streams because their occurrence can have ecological, aesthetic, and human health impacts. Blooms involving toxin-producing species can pose serious threats to animals and humans.

The term "algae" is generally used to refer to a wide variety of different and dissimilar photosynthetic organisms, generally microscopic. Depending on the species, algae can inhabit fresh or salt water.
Fresh-water algae, also called phytoplankton, vary in shape and color, and are found in a large range of habitats, such as ponds, lakes, reservoirs, and streams. They are a natural and essential part of the ecosystem .

Under certain conditions, several species of true algae as well as the cyanobacteria are capable of causing various nuisance effects in fresh water, such as excessive accumulations of foams, scums, and discoloration of the water. When the numbers of algae in a lake or a river increase explosively, an algal "bloom" is the result. Lakes, ponds, and slow-moving rivers are most susceptible to blooms.
Blooms generally occur where there are high levels of nutrients present, together with the occurrence of warm, sunny, calm conditions. However, human activity often can trigger or accelerate algal blooms. For example, in rural areas, agricultural runoff from fields can wash fertilizers into the water. In urban areas, nutrient sources can include treated wastewaters from septic systems and sewage treatment plants, and urban stormwater runoff that carries nonpoint-source pollutants such as lawn fertilizers.
Recurrent or severe blooms can cause dissolved oxygen depletion as the large numbers of dead algae decay. In highly eutrophic (enriched) lakes, algal blooms may lead to anoxia and fish kills during the summer. In terms of human values, the odors and unattractive appearance of algal blooms can detract from the recreational value of reservoirs, lakes, and streams. Repeated blooms may cause property values of lakeside or riverside tracts to decline.

Some algae produce toxic chemicals that pose a threat to fish, other aquatic organisms, wild and domestic animals, and humans. The toxins are released into the water when the algae die and decay.
The most common and visible nuisance algae in fresh water, and the species that are often toxic, are the cyanobacteria. A cyanobacterial bloom will form on the surface and can accumulate downwind, forming a thick scum that sometimes resembles paint floating on the water. Because these mats are blown close to shore, humans and wild and domestic animals can come into contact with the unsightly material.
Blooms of toxic species of algae and cyanobacteria can flood the water environment with the biotoxin they produce. When toxic, blooms can cause human illnesses such as gastroenteritis (if the toxin is ingested) and lung irritations (if the toxin becomes aerosolized and hence airborne). Toxicity can sometimes cause severe illness and death to animals that consume the biotoxin-containing water.
Some algal blooms in fresh water may only be a nuisance, but others can deplete dissolved oxygen in the water or generate biotoxins that are harmful to birds, fish, and other animals.

http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/A-Bi/Algal-Blooms-in-Fresh-Water.html#ixzz0VgFBweS5

Andy said...

There is no doubt in my mind that this is causing people to have sore throats, headache, nausea, and respiratory problems. Just like someone else wrote: Its not hard to tell the difference between a sore throat when you're sick and an irritated throat due to air quality.

Shame on SMWD! Worst water district ever.

Katie said...

Just like Bestdaba I thought I had a dead rat problem. Also thought it may be a gas leak and even called the gas company to come out. I just called the after hours number about 10 minutes ago and a person answered the phone. She read to me what I'm sure was a scripted response and directed me to the SMWD website. I asked her when it would be updated with new information and she said they had been out off the office all weekend so I should try checking tomorrow.

I live in California Colony near La Barca. This smell is nauseating. - Katie

finky the kid said...

Thanks for the info, Christie. And, Katie, thanks for the update from SMWD. I hadn't tried them since much earlier today, but it sounds like they're still giving the same vague lines.

I think we need to keep the pressure on SMWD AND the City of Mission Viejo tomorrow morning. I'd like to believe SMWD is doing what they can, but MV needs to stop the irrigation for the week to give us residents a break.

People are definitely getting headaches and sore throats. It doesn't seem outrageous to believe these things could be brought on, or at least exacerbated by whatever particles are in this nasty, sulphurous Stench. It's too much of a coincidence to be ignored.

I'm calling the City tomorrow to continue making my voice heard.

Anonymous said...

I have called the EPA on this too and here is how they want it handled.
1. Before you can nofify the EPA, you need to call the National Response Center at 800-424-8802. 2. Then call CalEMA at 800-852-7550. Take both of the report numbers you receive from those agencies and give it to EPA.
3. Only then will the EPA take your report! EPA's number is 800-300-2193. Your reports will be sent to about a dozen or so other agencies, including Air Quality, etc. I immediately received two phone calls after generating these reports. One was from the California State Dept of Public Health. The other was directly from SMWD. This reporting system really works!

The update I received from SMWD:
I spoke directly with a first line emergency responder at SMWD after I demanded to know what the air sample results are in exact concentrations (PPM) and exactly what extra equipment has been installed and what it does. I was told that three years ago the reservoir's pump system was switched to a solar powered system (to save operating costs) that was supposed to be superior to the electrical pump they had before. They have had nothing but problems with the new system and has all been algae related. There used to be a larger percentage of fresh water pumped into the reservoir. Not anymore. Another money saving tactic. This has interrupted the balance of things in the water. The algae in the water currently is blue-green algae and they have had biologists out there, the Air Quality people, the HazMat people, etc. They have been taking air samples every few hours from all ends of the reservoir, including going into it by boat, and testing it for Hydrogen Sulfide, Carbon Monoxide, etc. Nothing shows up on their meter readings. However, you can tell just by the smell there is a large sulphur component to the gas. Tonight (Sunday) is the first night that they are taking nighttime air samples...until now all air samples have been during the day. Let's see what the outcome of that is since we smell it so much more strongly at night. The SMWD believes we smell it more at night because the air is cooler, therefore denser and heavier at night so it falls closer to earth and to our sniffers. In the daytime, it is the opposite. The sun heats the gas, it expands and rises and we don't smell it. Tomorrow morning they are having the person who keeps things "in balance" at Lake Mission Viejo come out to the reservoir to see if he can offer some assistance. They have never encountered this before and are scrambling to figure out what to do.

I hope this info is helpful. Also, when I spoke with Eyewitness News, I was told we should be absolutely HOUNDING our City Council first thing Monday morning, RELENTLESSLY.

Andy said...

Well here is the latest SMWD vague and ridiculous response to the situation. Everyone can "rest assured"...thanks a lot SMWD.

Received 1/2/09 @ 7:32a

"Good morning,



I apologize for the odor. Please rest assured that we are taking every step possible to resolve this issue. The County Health Department, State Health Department and the AQMD have been notified and consulted about a resolution. We have met with two different biologists and an engineering firm that specializes in lakes. We are testing the air and water numerous times a day and all parties agree that there are no detectable levels of anything that poses a health or safety threat and that everything is being done that can be done.



We realize how bad the odor is and truly appreciate your patience.





Eddie Boulton

Santa Margarita Water District

949 459-6579"

finky the kid said...

Mission Viejo City Council Meeting TUESDAY NOVEMBER 2 @ 6pm.

Perhaps we should all show up and let them know how we feel about this. If only I could bottle up some of the Stench in a jar and bring it to them.

Though, I'd probably get arrested for some kind of "attempted terrorism."

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I called MV City, they are aware and gave me the number of the GM at SMWD... got voicemail. 949 459 6602. Been on hold with the customer service line at SMWD for 12 mins already...
I heard from a co-worker who has a neighbor who works at SMWD and said that the Recirc pump broke a while back and even all the fish are dead... not sure how true this is but decayed fish along with the algae bloom... that is the smell for sure!

Anonymous said...

SMWD HAS DONE US ALL A DISSERVICE. I question how the OSO resevoir has been managed up to this point. The community needs to demand a long-term solution. Temperature changes are a part of nature. I demand assurances that this problem is resolved long-term - Not just this isolated algae-bloom incident. Voice your concerns to: the SMWD General Manager: John Schatz at johns@smwd.com

Voice your outrage at the TOP!

Anonymous said...

Great idea Finky. Correction the Council meeting is tonight! Please, everyone try to make it if you can.

Mission Viejo City Council Meeting MONDAY NOVEMBER 2 @ 6pm.

Anonymous said...

I also received a comment from RSMWD this morning after I contacted them yesterday. Here it is:

I’m so sorry for the odor and the way it is affecting you. Please be assured that we are doing everything in our power to resolve this issue. The County Health Department, the State Health Department and the AQMD have all been notified and consulted about a resolution. We are testing the air and water numerous times a day and there have been no detectable levels of anything that poses a health threat. It is just a terrible nuisance.

We aren’t able to treat the lake itself with chemicals because of the fish but we are treating the water as it leaves the lake and goes into the irrigation system. The reason the odor is worse at night is not because of the irrigation but due to the cooler night air that holds the smell down at the lower level instead of allowing it to dissipate into to atmosphere. The algae bloom results in a lack of oxygen in the water which causes the odor. We are running generators around the clock to re-oxygenate the lake as soon as possible. It is a large body of water, however, and it takes some time.

We can’t apologize enough for what you are going through but we are working with all of our resources to resolve this just a soon as possible. Your patience is greatly appreciated.


Eddie Boulton
Santa Margarita Water District
949 459-6579

So there you have it. I do not beleive it. I heard on the news at 5:30 this morning about the smell and all it said was a 30 second segment about the smell in MV and that it was coming from the OSO reservoir and that they were doing everything to fix it and that it was because of the cold air. I think we all can agree at this point that it has gotten cold here before at some point. I think someone forgot to do something or something broke somewhere.

When I was out last night I came home late about 11:00 p.m., I notiiced all the sprinklers were on by the Ayres Hotel, the stench was soooo bad because all the sprinklers all the way down the road were on all the way to MADRID were on. I think once the sprinklers dry up the smell might dissipate for awhile. I think that's why we are smelling more in the evening. Does anyone agree? We all get watered at different times.

Also when I went by the lake AITH A MASK ON ALL THE FISH were DEAD. So RSMWD telling me that they were worried about putting chemicals in the lake for fear of worrying about the fish., is crazy, and that is what we are watering our slopes with, dead fish water. It just seems unhealthy to me.

Anyone agree?

Anonymous said...

Where is the council meeting held? I just wrote previous blog? I will be there!

Anonymous said...

Meeting is held at:

Mission Viejo 200 Civic Center, Mission Viejo, CA 92691 (949) 470-3000

Council Chambers 1st floor.

Meeting opens to the public at 6:00 PM (Closed session at 5:00 PM)

finky the kid said...

Thanks for the correction. The City Council meeting is TONIGHT.

I don't think I can make it, unfortunately because of a previous commitment.

laura said...

I have been sick all weekend with severe headaches and stomach issues and today a minor sore throat, but today was the topper. I am now having bouts with a bloody nose which is like when there is black mold in your house or toxic chemicals around. I feel like my sinus is burned from a chemical spill and I cannot smell anything but that horrible smell. I can't imagine what the people living right on top of this thing must be experiencing. I am highly sensitive to this type of thing and did not know why the smell was so bad until I came to work and complained about it to my office and they told me about the article in the OC Register. I live near the corner of Crown Valley and Antonio and it is the worst of the weekend today. I am afraid to go home even though I still feel sick but the nose bleed is gone. Are they really going to allow the kids to play on the play ground with this stuff in the air? Good Grief, now they are in there stirring it up??? Wow there should have been a warning to people. Only good thing is that my nose bleeds have stopped while I am at work in Irvine. Where do I file a health claim??

solar panels for sale said...

I just drove by the lake, and I can't smell anything. I had smelled it at all times of day before, so maybe it's getting better.

Anonymous said...

I'm near Alicia & Trabuco, and the smell seems better today. It was strong all day yesterday, but so far so good today. I even have the windows open.....
Hoping for the best as the day progresses.

Anonymous said...

Hi Laura and everyone, we live near Santa Margarita Parkway and Los Alisos and my boys have been having the worst bloody noses the past 3 days, they will get them while standing or just simply talking so it's interesting to hear another person with the same problem. We have been all coughing and itchy eyed. I broke out in a mysterious rash last night that I still have this morning but there is no way to say that is related. If SMWD claims there are no health issues for us to be concerned about even after hearing many several complaints of headaches, itchy eyes, etc. then they should make public the latest H2S ppm measurements. Coming out and saying "oh, you don't have anything to worry about and just go about your daily lives" attitude isn't cutting it.

Anonymous said...

I spoke to the news assignment desk at Fox and told them the story. Here is the number to call 310 584 2027. The more calls the more we will get help!

Anonymous said...

I received this e-mail today.

Good morning,



We truly apologize for the odor. Please rest assured that we are doing everything possible to resolve this problem. The County Health Department, State Health Department and the AQMD have been notified and consulted about the situation. We are testing the air and water numerous times a day. While it is a terrible nuisance, there have been no detectable levels of anything that poses a health or safety threat. All agencies that we have consulted with agree that everything possible is being done to insure the public safety and bring this to as speedy a resolution as possible.



We realize how bad the smell is and appreciate your patience.





Eddie Boulton

Santa Margarita Water District

949 459-6579

laura said...

I am at work and feeling better finally. Sorry to hear about your sons. I am not looking forward to going home but maybe it will move on by then. For sure keeping my car windows up and recirculate on!

Anonymous said...

I too had a problem with the foul oder till i purchased a thera pure hepa filter for the house which has worked wonders in the past few days. Mine comes with a uv filter which kills off any fungus, bacteria, mold, and other nasty air contaminants.

Anonymous said...

I blew my nose yesterday and had like black blood in there!!! I NEVER get a bloody nose..also been waking up with stuff in my lungs last 2 mornings.....course, maybe I'm just banging my head against the walls from lack of sleep from the stench...I'm over it....so far tonight I don't smell it so much.....candles are my friends....

Anonymous said...

My friend from Cleveland just suggested that I take a sample of the water that they are watering the slopes with and send it to the EPA and then see how toxic it really is. I am really sick as well and have been for days. They won't help them cover anything up. I wanted to make it to the meeting but could not get out of work. I went to air out my condo which backs up to the reservoir during the day, but I got home to late. My condo was reeking so disgusting, I am so ill right now. I went to ACE or True Value and bought a real resperator for $26.99. I need to get some sleep tonight. My condo is so bad. My poor animals have to smell this as well. Someone please comment on the meeting tonight. What does think about the sample issue? I really feel for the people with the bloody noses. I have stuff in my lungs too and in my nose. Everything tastes funny. Anyone else?

Anonymous said...

I am the one that wrote the comment about testing the water and sending to the EPA. SOmeone needs to call Erin Brokovitch. I am going to look her up and send her this blog.-DEB

Anonymous said...

thank you! I live right by there and i cant stand it

Anonymous said...

OK, this is Deb again, I just went on Erin Brokovitch's page and notified her. Everyone needs to do this. I told her to go to this blog. I have to encourage you to please do this. It only takes a moment. You just put in your email address and number and post your comment. I can't stand this anymore everyone. Please update me about the meeting. I just know this is a cover-up about something, otherwise they would have millions of lawsuits on their hands. I am definitely sending them the bill for the resperator.

D. Bomm said...

Update at SMWD website: 9:00 PM 11/2/09



Updated November 2, 2009

To help return the lake’s oxygen levels to normal, SMWD has added equipment into the lake, including mechanical aeration (in addition to the existing solar-powered aeration equipment) as well as external pumps to spray the lake water to increase oxygen levels and stir up the lake’s surface for better oxygen transfer. In addition, fresh water is being added into the reservoir to help with the water quality. Further investigation is underway to aerate with ozone to increase the level of oxygen at an even faster pace. The District continues to sample the water regularly and monitor the health of the reservoir. SMWD has also performed extensive air monitoring around the lake and in the neighborhoods hardest hit with the odor and there are no detectable levels of hydrogen sulfides or other harmful gases.

elliott said...

mannn this smell really sucks..just moved in and this is a beautiful gift that mother nature has given me..i really hope this goes away soon this is seriously bad.

Anonymous said...

It just seems rather odd that I have lived in the same condo for nearly 10-years and the weather has changed like this all the time and I have never ever experienced this before. Pardon my French, but this is BULLSHIT that they are feeding us. Something happened, someone dropped the bar. Another interesting thing today is....I saw 4 construction trucks digging into the ground by the AYRES hotel and in the surrounding areas. One of them was on the 241 as well. It brings me back to the situation of what the lady from the MV hospital told me when they were doing construction on Crown Valley Prkwy and she could smell it in her house and all the way to PCH. She smelled it for 3- weeks and taste it in her water. I just wonder if it's a coincidence. Could be but at this point anything that I see now, I am looking at because I cannot stand it anymore. It really is no fun being ill on a consistant basis and worrying about coming home each and every night and if the smell will be there. Praying it will be gone that evening.... I just wonder if a sewer line did break and they are fixing it. (construction) and it contaminated the reservoir. Hmmmm. Just a thought. Anyway, it's nice to be able to share with everyone here. Thanks again everyone. This is helpful if for nothing else to know I am not crazy.

Anonymous said...

Live off jeronimo and margarite but travel to los alisos and margarite a whole lot. it smells like dead whales and rotten eggs. It's so terrible you can taste it, it's thick in the air. I've been getting headaches and vomiting since the smell arrived.

Anonymous said...

Excerpt from e-mail
Hi everyone,

We've all been smelling the putrid odor coming from the reservoir. My biggest fear is the health issue. Just to let everyone know, usually algae blooms cause an emission of Hydrogen Sulfide gas. It is exactly the smell we are smelling and it is a highly toxic gas. It can cause death. It can cause CNS damage, blood clots in the lungs, and other organ damage. Aside from the health issue, there are property value issues as well. Noone is going to want to buy a house in an area that smells like this!
I have no patience or tolerance for political bullcrap and I won't tolerate the stench the local water district has literally created. I am also a hypochondriac with a passion and a mind for detail who will go to great lengths to protect the health of my family and friends. So I have spent my weekend researching the foul odor coming from the Upper Oso Reservoir and what we can do about it. After reading my update, please scroll down to find a list of contacts you can personally call (just like I did) to bump this issue up to the top of their "to do" list - PRONTO! The more people that call, the better chance we have of being heard, my friends. Remember, the squeaky wheel...you get the picture.

Anonymous said...

I have been sick since Fri. will be checking into hotel tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Recived below
We've all been smelling the putrid odor coming from the reservoir. My biggest fear is the health issue. Just to let everyone know, usually algae blooms cause an emission of Hydrogen Sulfide gas. It is exactly the smell we are smelling and it is a highly toxic gas. It can cause death. It can cause CNS damage, blood clots in the lungs, and other organ damage. Aside from the health issue, there are property value issues as well. Noone is going to want to buy a house in an area that smells like this

Anonymous said...

Revived below - part II
I have no patience or tolerance for political bullcrap and I won't tolerate the stench the local water district has literally created. I am also a hypochondriac with a passion and a mind for detail who will go to great lengths to protect the health of my family and friends. So I have spent my weekend researching the foul odor coming from the Upper Oso Reservoir and what we can do about it. After reading my update, please scroll down to find a list of contacts you can personally call (just like I did) to bump this issue up to the top of their "to do" list - PRONTO! The more people that call, the better chance we have of being heard, my friends. Remember, the squeaky wheel...you get the picture.

Anonymous said...

Recived below part III
........
spoke directly with a first line emergency responder at SMWD after I demanded to know what the air sample results are in exact concentrations (PPM) and exactly what extra equipment has been installed and what it does. I was told that three years ago the reservoir's pump system was switched to a solar powered system (to save operating costs) that was supposed to be superior to the electrical pump they had before. They have had nothing but problems with the new system and has all been algae related. There used to be a larger percentage of fresh water pumped into the reservoir. Not anymore. Another money saving tactic. This has interrupted the balance of things in the water. The algae in the water currently is blue-green algae and they have had biologists out there, the Air Quality people, the HazMat people, etc. They have been taking air samples every few hours from all ends of the reservoir, including going into it by boat, and testing it for Hydrogen Sulfide, Carbon Monoxide, etc. Nothing shows up on their meter readings. However, you can tell just by the smell there is a large sulphur component to the gas. Tonight is the first night that they are taking nighttime air samples...until now all air samples have been during the day. Let's see what the outcome of that is since we smell it so much more strongly at night. The SMWD believes we smell it more at night because the air is cooler, therefore denser and heavier at night so it falls closer to earth and to our sniffers. In the daytime, it is the opposite. The sun heats the gas, it expands and rises and we don't smell it. Tomorrow morning they are having the person who keeps things "in balance" at Lake Mission Viejo come out to the reservoir to see if he can offer some assistance. They have never encountered this before and are scrambling to figure out what to do.

Anonymous said...

I live in Madrid and I came home last night very late about this time and the smell was sooo bad. The sprinklers were on. The sprinklers aren't on now and it's not as bad as it was last night. Perhaps they finally got the hint not to put the poison out there into watering everything each and every evening or maybe it was just our complex. Trust me, it's still bad, but, not as bad and I notice it's because the sprinklers are not on. I hope they do not come on and we shall see by the morning. Maybe it was just my complex who decided not to turn on the sprinklers anymore at night time. No sure. It's not wet outside either, still need to get the sample of water though.

Anonymous said...

sprinklers just came on in front of my place and the smell is putrid again. Damn I guess I spoke to soon. Nevermind. Gross. Also, since all this have not seen one rabbit and use to see them all the time on the grass. Probably killing all living creatures except the plants. Maybe in time they will die as well. Hopefully Erin Brokavitch will write me back or the news will write back too. I need to put my resperator on and go try to get some slep. Also thinking about checking into a hotel, but I have pets to tend to that my heart is breaking for, they have breathing issues.

Anonymous said...

Just an FYI to the water district. NO ONE that is currently on the district's board will be recieving a vote from me when they are up for reelection. It's obvious they don't take their job seriously.

Anonymous said...

Dear Santa Margarita Water District,

Go Fuck Yourself.

-Dave Klein

Anonymous said...

Keep it clean Dave :)

Noticed that the news did cover it last night. This morning it does not seem as bad. John Schatz GM from SMWD did email me back with the same weather drop story... Let's see what today brings - most importantly CLEAN AIR!

Anonymous said...

It's just as bad or worse here this morning as ever. I agree they can stick it up there you know what. I really can't take this.......................Got a water sample this morning from the sprinklers -that was gross in itself. Now what to do?

finky the kid said...

Did anyone attend the Mission Viejo City Council meeting last night? Would like to hear about it, if so.

Anonymous said...

Debbie would like to know as well if anyone attended the meeting. I have not heard back from the KABC news desk or Erin Brokovitch. EB assured me that she answered each and every e-mail. As I stated before everyone should write to her that it only took a moment. I encourage everyone. When I did go to sleep last night and was totally exhausted, I only slept for a couple of hours, I awoke to that putrid smell and then couldn't fall back asleep. I am just so sickened by this and do not know what to do. When I wrote KABC I told them they need to do some investigate reporting. I almost want to write to GMA. CH 7 says right on there advertisement that if something is bothering you to tell them and they will get to you----Well, I know I told them and many others have told them, I cannot understand why this is not aired as more of a problem??? Any views???? Please update about the meeting!! ANYONE!!!!

Cori said...

Trabuco Hills High School sprinklers are going FULL FORCE at night. Again, why worry so much about the aesthetics if you're making your city smell like sewage and everyone is getting irritated eyes and sinuses?

Here's a link to the news report: http://www.myfoxla.com/dpp/news/local/mission_viejo_has_a_smelly_situation_20091102

Debbie - I called ABC too, to no avail.

Finky - didn't hear about the council meeting until this a.m. I'm interested to hear if anyone went too.

finky the kid said...

Thanks for the link, Cori!
Thanks for your perseverence, Debbie!

What Fox News forgot to cover in their story was the large number of people reporting headaches, nosebleeds, and sore throats and that if the smell is Hydrogen Sulfide, that's a gas which IS harmful to humans, per the EPA.

But I don't want to make a big stink about things.

Anonymous said...

This whole smell thing "stinks" if you know what I mean (stories) I'm disabled living on social sec. & have lived here for 31 yrs. Off Los Alisos behind Portola Plaza & THHS. I ditto all what you are saying! Those people that get to go to work, away from the area as my daughter & husband, R more lucky getting away awhile !! As each day goes by it's become more & more difficult to withstand this putrid unbearable stinch!! Forgetting the misery of the smell, but ea. day I'm getting worse! Headaches everyday, sinus is really bad, & U all know U can forget sleep! But these last few days it's been very difficult to even consentrate! I get easily confused & can't put my thoughts together to finish a sentence sometimes. Finally yesterday & all last nite I've been vomiting badly!! I'm scared & just want to get out & stay in a hotel until it's over, but who's going to pay!!??
I don't have enough money 2 do it!!? I also have 2 older small dogs have deveolped bad sinus problems. I need a respirator or something, I just really want to get out of HERE!! Wheather they are admiting guilt or not R they not going to do something for people getting sick!!!!?? Should they not pay? At least 2 temporarly relocate people ? I'm getting sicker every day! Can anyone help!?

Anonymous said...

Ok Everyone, this is Debbie again. I just spoke with the assignment desk at the news station for about 10 minutes and explained that I thought it was a cover up at the RSMWD and that we need help out here. I explained that the smell is in all of out houses and that we cannot breathe. I also told them that they reported only what RSMWD told them to report and that they need to come out here and smell this and look at the reservoir. I BEGGED her to help us. I told her the reservoir was solid GREEN. I also told her that RSMWD gave 4 or 5 different stories in the beginning and that they don't know what it is or when it's going to be fixed. Basically I told her investigative reporting needs to be done and I sent her this site and told her to PLEASE READ THIS BLOG PAGE AND TOLD HER THAT THIS IS JUST THE PEOPLE THAT KNOW ABOUT THIS BLOG PAGE. I am doing what I can people, please do what you can. I also have the water sample from the sprinklers and am waiting for Erin Brokavitch to e-mail me back so there you have it. I have to leave now with my home open-airing it out, but I will make sure that I will be home before they start watering because I have to close it up----otherwise I will be vomiting profusely as opposed to just vomiting. Sorry so graphic. NEWS DESK-PLEASE HELP. This is a 5 mile radius. I have better things to do in my life than post messages on this blog.
DEBBIE

laurmela said...

My DD goes to Trabuco Hills High and says it has been terrible there! She is in Marching Band and they rehearse in the afternoon evening, so when the sprinklers come on it is worse. My son works at the CVS just below the resevoir and is worried about feeling sick the last few days, sore throat, upset stomach. This is really ridiculous. I have lived in RSM for over 20 years and this has never happened before. I wish that they would be more truthful instead of trying to hide their screwup!

robin said...

Debbie-regarding your 11/3/09, 12:49PM post, which newsdesk are you referring to and how can we reach them?
Thx.

Anonymous said...

Debbie said-

KABC News Desk-Breaking news
1-877-777-6397

Anonymous said...

I followed your advise & also emailed Erin Brokovitch at
erin@brockovich.com. I wish others would do the same. If she gets enough post the quicker she'll reply. I'm sick of being sick!

finky the kid said...

Just put a link in an Update to my post from this morning about the new article the OC Register put up on their website today about the Stench.

http://finkythekid.blogspot.com/

finky the kid said...

Just added another link to today's post.

MV City Council meeting has video of SMWD talking about the Stench.

Anonymous said...

Debbie said-

What do you mean you just added another link? I would like to view this video?

Anyway, I spoke with manager today and asked him to please not run the sprinklers tonight becuz that is part of the horrible problem, he started to disagree until I made total sense and said that everyone has there sprinklers on a different timer. That is why it starts smelling worse and worse and worse and worse in the evening. I noticed the run off from the sprinklers is now white in color as well when it dries. He also informed me (this I was not aware of and he did not know it was at all related) that they were working on the sewers on Los Alisos underground last week and this week. That is why I saw the trucks in front of the Hotel the other day working underground. I truly do believe that a sewer line did break- can't be sure but it sure smells like sewer gas to me--------and I happen to know that is very harmful to us. The reservoir is contaminated and the water needs to be drained and not be watering anything. Leave the water off for one night and I bet that reservoir doesn't smell half as bad as it has been smelling. Algaee Bloom my ass....Talking with my friends on the phone they can totally tell that I am ill by the sound of my voice now. Oh yeah, I don't forget anything....i AM JUST NOT A FORGETFUL PERSON. GREAT MEMORY Today, I accidently THREW MY CAR KEYS AWAY WITH THE TRASH. Hmmmmmmm

Anonymous said...

Hi....I just sent the blog link to KTLA as well and asked please if Eric Spillman can come out and do a story in his gas mask since they have a reporter every morning on a water main break..that this is making us sick out here.....

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. My wife has been blaming me and the dog for the smell! This clears me and the dog. :)

Anonymous said...

Debbie says--

The later it gets the more watering of everyones neighborhood the worse it stars smelling. Oh I just can't wait until they water here. That's at about 11:30-12 then I seriously can't breathe the rest of the night. Right before that I know it starts at the hotel and at Vons. What time does it start at Marguerite and Los Alisos- Anyone know? They water off and on this whole complex until 5:30 am.

bestdaba said...

The following is an excerpt from the Mission Viejo Business Newsletter, dated Nov. 2, 2009:


Water district general manager to speak about foul odor tonight

John Schatz, general manager of the Santa Margarita Water District, will attend tonight's City Council meeting to give an overview of what steps the district is taking to resolve the foul odor caused by an algae bloom in the Santa Margarita Water District's Upper Oso Reservoir.

As a result of the district's algae bloom, the City will temporarily stop irrigating with recycled water in an effort to help quell the foul smell.

The City's move comes as the water district is working to eliminate the odor that has prompted much resident concern. District officials say the foul smell is expected to subside within the next several days, as the water district has added equipment in the lake to help return the oxygen levels to normal. As of Saturday, the dissolved oxygen levels have started increasing, officials said. But the City is hoping to complement those efforts since the Oso Reservoir is the main source of recycled irrigation water throughout Mission Viejo.


Residents can hear Schatz's update via web online or on demand at http://missionviejo.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=4.

Here are my instructions to get to this video, it's a little complicated for some of us:

Go to Mission Viejo.com
Scroll down to bottom of page
Click on 'City Council'
Scroll down to 'City Council Mtgs'
Click on 'Watch council mtgs online'
Scroll down to 'City Council Summary Nov 2'
Click on 'Video'
Middle of Page, left side, under 'City Council Summary'....
where it says Jump To...click on arrow
Scroll down to 'announcements' and watch John Schatz, Gen'l Mgr.SMWD tell us what he's doing.

Actually the air is much better over here in Eastbrook tonight. It started out with a bang but seems to be dissipating much sooner. It's 11 pm. It usually lasts till morning. I don't think any outside agencies will be interested in our plight when they
hear that SMWD (supposedly) is doing all they can to remedy the situation. I think they are going to stop watering until Thursday.
Even tho he says that's not adding to the problem.

Stay tuned..........

Anonymous said...

All I know is that I am so congested and sick. I cannot believe that nothing is being done about this and we are all left to deal with this putrid sewer gas. It does get worse ever single morning.

Sherri said...

Article in today's OC Reg contains this paragraph:

Dr. Jeffrey Suchard, a medical toxicologist at University of California, Irvine, said residents' symptoms are similar to the eye, nose and throat irritation caused from low levels of exposure to hydrogen sulfide gas, a poison known as "sewer gas" because it is often produced by the breakdown of waste material. At low levels, the gas smells like rotten eggs.

I suggest we all try to contact Dr. Jeffrey Suchard to see if he would be willing to take independent tests of our air or help us out in some way, shape or form since noone else seems to be able to. Here's his info:
Jeffrey Suchard
Title: Associate Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine and Director of Medical Toxicology
Expertise: Toxic Chemical Issues, Chemical and Biological Warfare Agents, Herbal and other Toxic Poisonings.
Phone: (714) 456-5239
Email: jsuchard@uci.edu

Anonymous said...

The OC Register has now posted pictures of Oso Reservoir

I have to say, when driving past Vons near the abandoned First Direct, I smelled a dead fish smell for several weeks before the odor spread over the whole community.

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/lake-last-odor-2636418-reservoir-oso

finky the kid said...

Made the 10 o'clock KTLA news:
http://www.ktla.com/videobeta/watch/?watch=a38197e5-23a8-4982-bab5-67e512d78ec3&src=front

Anonymous said...

HELLO EVERYONE----
I put this in an e-mail to KTLA today to add to the story that they told about on their 10:00 newscast. I just wanted them to know more about what was going on. Please read below. This is what I sent them.......


Regarding the story that aired on the smell in Mission Viejo, what Rancho Santa Margarita Water District said about the Lake and the air getting colder is totally ridiculous. I live in Mission Viejo as well and have been putting up with this smell for over 9 days now. If this was true about the air than why don't the other lake that are less than 2 to 3 miles away have the same problem. It just so happens that they are doing construction on the sewer lines underground in the same area around here. I believe somone is covering something up and that water is contaminated. The worse thing about it is they keep watering everything around here with that water and if they claim there is no health risk (which of course they are going to do) why are all the fish dead and why is every one sick, i.e.. runny noses, sore throats, headaches, respitory problems and vomiting. Also, my indoor cats have stopped eating. I have also lost my appetite like all the other people. I have taken a water sample from the sprinklers and have contacted Erin Brokavitch but have not gotten a response. Please contact me for more information. Go to the website http://finkythekid.blogspot.com/
for more information. Thank you for reporting this story.

finky the kid said...

Anonymous @ 4:42pm - Any way you can get a sample of the Reservoir water, too?
I just don't understand how they can say "there's nothing harmful" in the stinking air when they admit to not being able to identify WHAT the smell is. How can they make that call if they don't even know what they are dealing with?

I think we all know at the end of the day it's going to be hydrogen sulfide. I just don't understand why SMWD is staying so quiet on the issue. perhaps b/c they knwo they goofed in letting the reservoir get gunked up so badly and they don't want the liability for health issues??

I'm just guessing here...

finky the kid said...

Anonymous @ 4:42pm - Any way you can get a sample of the Reservoir water, too?
I just don't understand how they can say "there's nothing harmful" in the stinking air when they admit to not being able to identify WHAT the smell is. How can they make that call if they don't even know what they are dealing with?

I think we all know at the end of the day it's going to be hydrogen sulfide. I just don't understand why SMWD is staying so quiet on the issue. perhaps b/c they knwo they goofed in letting the reservoir get gunked up so badly and they don't want the liability for health issues??

I'm just guessing here...

Anonymous said...

My wife and I purchased air purifiers from Costco. They have worked very well in removing, what we believe is, Hydrogen Sulfide gas from our home at night.

We close our windows around sun down and then turn on the air purifiers to deal with the situation.

When my wife and I first moved to Mission Viejo this last spring, she developed asthma for the first time in her life. The suspected cause was the Hydrogen Sulfide gas emitted from the sprinklers watering the slope with reclaimed water behind our home every night. We closed the windows at night and the tightness in her chest went away.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I purchased air purifiers from Costco. They have worked very well in removing, what we believe is, Hydrogen Sulfide gas from our home at night.

We close our windows around sun down and then turn on the air purifiers to deal with the situation.

When my wife and I first moved to Mission Viejo this last spring, she developed asthma for the first time in her life. The suspected cause was the Hydrogen Sulfide gas emitted from the sprinklers watering the slope with reclaimed water behind our home every night. We closed the windows at night and the tightness in her chest went away.

Anonymous said...

Debbie says-

I guess I could go over there and get a water sample but do you know what you are asking of me?????? To almost kill myself. I could put my respirator on. Can I get that close to the lake? Will they let me now that it is so contaminated is the question and knowing what I am doing. hmmmmmm, I wonder. I guess I could try tomorrow morning and see. No one has gotten back to me about the sample yet though. Not the scientist or E. Brokovitch. But at least I will be a step up. The KTLA Story was the best story so far on the subject. Does anyone agree?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad they came out and did the story, but I'm a little disappointed that they didn't read this blog and get more info like the watering/the possibility of a sewage spill at Ayers, confronting Chamber.....I think they could of put a little more heart into it, like they do fire/floods & STORM WATCH 2009 when we've had 1/4 inch of rain....and I watch KTLA every morning and at 10pm...wasn't investigative reporting at all...

Anonymous said...

It still stinks at night near the Madrid Apartments. This is ridiculious! It literally smells like someone smeared feces on the walls of my apartment at night.

Anonymous said...

I live in Pinecrest and it's almost 2 weeks after the initial stench and it still smells like the sewer at night! We are all going insane here. I haven't noticed any new posts, does anyone outside of Pinecrest still have the stench? Or have we just grew accustomed to it? I avoid being outside after 6pm. I know they are working on it but it doesn't seem to help much. It's bad as it ever was.

Anonymous said...

It's baaaaaack!

Anonymous said...

I also live in Madrid and it does smell like Feces. It is back. I don't think any of us has stopped smelling it. I haven not heard from anyone like Erin Brokavitch or the scientist. No one is responding us or reporting the story. It is like they don't care. This is horrible. It is like there is northing that we can do about it. I dont know what else to do outside of move. My friend smells it in her pipes in Lake Forest. I don't know what to do. THis is SOOOOOOOOO Bad. Cannot SLEEP ANY MORE AND AM SOOOOO SICK.

Anonymous said...

I've been out of town since Thursday. As I was driving back in town last night I could not believe how bad the odor (stench) was. By the time I reached my home (near Margarite and Santa Margarita) I was sickened by how strong the stench was and wondered what news I had missed in the four days I was away (maybe I should have stayed away). I made sure all of my windows were tightly shut before I went to bed and woke up this morning with the worse dry sore throat. What went down while I was away? This is crazy! The smell was the worse since this all began. When will my house smell good again?

Anonymous said...

It is worse than ever. What the fuck.

Anonymous said...

Oh God help US!! "IT'S BACK!!!!!". I thought maybe it was getting a little better for about 2 days or so ( or I was just getting use to the stinch) whatever last night & this morning was just as bad as the 1st DAY !!! We NEED & ARE BEGGING for HELLLLP. We are living in HELLLL!!!! & need someone of knowledge in the medical fields & EPA 2 step in NOW , Please here us crying out!!! DO resourses that could step in with assistance & some compassion!!
All they need to do is camp out for 1 night ( especially fro
about 11pm - 9am) WHY are they ignoring this site!! It's just like a movie in the making!! By the time it's all gone & no smells, and people start showing severe continued medical problems, only then attention will be given, probably to late!!! Where & why hasn't the news & Erin B. Responded??!!! Please am I imagining the smell is BACK?? just as before??? Again can't someone HELP us out there!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm willing to sell my idea to the city....a crop duster and Febreze.

Anonymous said...

Debbie Says-

I just wrote to Sam Champion from GMA. I explained everything. I told him to go to this blog as well. I begged him to help us and explained that it is as worse as ever and explained that they keep saying that it will be fixed in a couple days. I wrote to him because he knows about science stuff. He will explain the algaee bloom if it makes any sense. I told him they need to investigate this story and someone from 20/20 needs to come out here that it smells like a toilet in out houses. Someone else care to write, that would be helpful. Anyway, no word from Erin yet either. I tried. It is so bad this morning and last night. Gross Gross Gross. The taste is in my mouth now. I want to take someone to court about this. This is just aweful.

Anonymous said...

Kathy asks Debbie -

I also have wrote to Erin, and am desperate to find help for us! They seem to be doing quick fast " temporary "bandade fixes" to shut people up. Could you all not smell it last night & this morning? I thought -no, this time it has to be the DOG!!! & I blamed her !! Debbie just wanted to know how you wrote GMA / Sam Champion? Through which site?? Because I want to back you and use the same site. Please advise. Again I'm with you! Kathy

Anonymous said...

Debbie to Kathy and ALL-

Go the GMA site. At the top it lists everyone's names. I picked Sam because he is into environment. Click on Sam's name. Scroll down a little ways. All the way to the right it will read "Sam Champion wants to hear from you" Click on that and there you go. From there you should have no problems. I too smelled it terribly last night. I think it was worse than ever. Where do you reside? In front of the hotel and in front of the 241 there just happens to be little areas of band-aids where they were working underground and have covered with ashphalt now. I believe those were sewer line breaks of some sort. I can't be sure, but it just falls into place. My friend in Lake Forest says she walks in here bathroom and can smell it in her drains really bad. She lives off El Toro Road by Liquor on the Rock. My brother can smell it in his home and he lives off Toledo and El Toro Rd. This is crazy. CRAZY or not--I just had to take my cat in to the VET---$350.00--He is very ill. He won't eat now. They don't know what is wrong with him. Coincidence-perhaps, but he is a fairly healthy cat that loves to eat that was displaying no signs of illness until this started. I am going to continue to monitor his health as well as my own on a calendar because I am sick too. This is so ridiculous and so terribly unacceptable. We ARE GETTING NO Definitive Answers here and NO RELIEF. Friends are coming in from out of Town soon and I cannot even clean my own home for them to stay here, nor would I want them too. Hell, I don't want to stay in my own home.

Anonymous said...

Well, contacting our Rep. Gary Miller was a waste of time. His office just said to contact the city of Mission Viejo.

...gee thanks hadn't thought about that one Gary.

Anonymous said...

This has been the worst two weeks since I've lived in Mission Viejo. I haven't had a decent night of sleep since this stench started. The smell is so powerful that it creeps through my doors and windows. I bought an air filter but last night it didn't seem to help. It stunk so bad. No one on the water district will be recieving a vote for me next time they run for reelection.

Anonymous said...

The smell is back! I think all sprinklers need to be turned off. The city said they stopped, but that doesn't count housing area slopes that are maintained by the HOA's and common area landscaping crews for those areas. So for the time being I think all watering needs to be stopped in all areas including condo and apartment complexes and neighborhoods, or at least done more during the day so we aren't forced to sleep with the fresh nasty stench every night.

Anonymous said...

Debbie says-

I totally agree. I have been saying that for two weeks but no one listens to me. I went to my apartment manager and said that but he didn't listen to me. Every time the sprinklers come on it smells so bad I want to vomit. If indeed they did turn the sprinklers off for a couple of days it had to be those past couple of days when it didn't smell soooooo bad around Mission Viejo last week, but the smell wasn't gone completely, because our sprinklers were still on here. Living like this sucks. Here is what I sent RSMWD this morning at 3:00AM because I could not sleep once again. The smell is so horrible. I can't take it anymore. I want to get a hotel room and send them the bill.

What you are saying is simply not true. What about all the other lakes around the area. Why aren’t they experiencing the same thing? Because what you are saying is not true. What about the small lake on Lake Forest? What about the small Lake on Ridge Route Drive? I am not talking about Lake Mission Viejo, which you had to point out in your article, these are small lakes. It has nothing to do with the cooler air. I also asked Sam Champion from Good Morning America, What you are feeding everyone is a lie.

Why don’t you just fix your problem? I haven’t had one night of sleep since this whole thing started. I don’t want your apologies. I just want the freaking thing fixed. I have lived here for 9 years and this has never happened before. This is ridiculous. You say it doesn’t cause a health problem but I am smelling and tasting this at work, and it’s in my chest. I have bloody noses now at night so don’t tell me it’s not causing a health issues because then you are calling me a liar. I am all congested and my whole house gets nothing but headaches. The smell is in my home. My home smells like a freaking outhouse. So you come live here like my guests have from Cleveland for a week. Now they are sick too, and that’s all they smell is this disgusting smell and they can’t get a single night sleep. I know you don’t give a shit (fancy choice of words considering) and I am sure this isn’t the first or the last e-mail that you have gotten, but this is totally ridiculous and totally unacceptable. If it was what you said it was it would have been fixed way before this time period. Why do you think people don’t believe you? It just so happens that I know you are working on the sewer systems at the same time period. Could it be related? Hmmmm? Just fix it I am not an idiot.

THis is just unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

Debbie says-

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that you don't water anything with the water that smells like that. Honestly, just take one look at the reservoir, you would go near it, why on earth would you use that water to water anything with it. All the fish are dead and it smells from miles away. Why would you even consider distributing that water? DAH!!! How can they say it's not the water? They have already determined that it is and that there is a problem. Until they fix it, watering should cease.

Anonymous said...

Pinecrest Community Letter of Intent to Protest.


Mr. Ury and Council Members,

As residents of Missions Viejo, we have spent many hours making phone calls to get answers to my family and neighbors questions regarding the recent hazardous algae bloom in the Upper Oso Reservoir managed by the Santa Margarita Water District. It is our opinion that the city has not been involved in resolving the causes of the putrid air that has infiltrated in and around our homes every cool night for the past 2 weeks.

My family and my neighbors are experiencing ailments from vomiting to asthma attacks due to the toxic Hydrogen Sulfide content in the air. Your lack of involvement regarding a health risk for the residents of Mission Viejo is not acceptable. We require your immediate involvement in the resolution of this issue and in communicating the results to the community. Please contact us with information on your plan of action in addressing this hazardous situation or you will be seeing us in person.

Sincerely,

Pinecrest Community Residents

Anonymous said...

Pinecrest has had ENOUGH! After many individual efforts to get answers and put pressure on SMWD, we have decided to move on City Hall as a group.

We have all been told by various members of agencies that "they are working on getting it fixed," but the stench has grown exponentially the past 2 nights. Perhaps their efforts are misguided and/or misdirected? No matter, WE ARE SUFFERING.

Our hope is to assemble the largest group possible on THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12th at 4pm, to let City Council and the Mayor of MV know just how angry and frustrated we all are. Pressure directly from the contracting city just might get SMWD's attention.

Please join us -- large numbers get attention!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait! I will be there Thursday and I will sleep there if I have to! We should bring some of the water from the reservoir for them to smell.

bestdaba said...

I just emailed 15 people who live in MV urging them to attend the mtg at City Hall on Thurs. I hope Pinecrest is still going to do this! It's very hard getting anyone in Eastbrook to join in..anything....are you sure the Mayor will be there? I think the reason the lakes are not emitting an odor is because they are not filled with reclaimed water like the reservoir is...could that be it?

bestdaba said...

This is an excerpt from MV's newsletter dated 11-10:

"More pumps on the way to help quell foul smell

Santa Margarita Water District officials are working to install two more aeration pumps today to help quell the foul odor caused by an algae bloom in the district’s Upper Oso Reservoir.

According to district officials, testing continues to indicate that conditions are improving. Though nearby residents smelled stronger odors over the past 24 hours, the health indicators of the lake are still improving.

The cooler, drier weather at night and in the early morning caused the odor to migrate into nearby neighborhoods. This is the reason some people may have smelled stronger odors Sunday and Monday morning, officials said. Recent night and morning fog helped contain the odor near the lake.

Officials say the lake’s color looks better, and its clarity increased substantially over the weekend. According to the district, water tests performed today show an increase in oxygen reduction potential (O.R.P.) levels, which means sulfide levels are dropping and oxygen is returning to the lake."

I think they've been saying this for over a week now.........

Anonymous said...

Check this out everyone--

Team of Experts/Advisors Assisting with Upper Oso Reservoir
•Consultant/Advisors
–Current situation
•PACE
–Andy Komor, PE
–James Matthews, PE
–Dr. Peter Fox, ASU
–Dr. Michael Anderson, UC Riverside
•Ozone Water Systems
–Dave Overby
–Existing operation
•Solar Bee
–Sandy Walker
–Dr. Chris Knud-Hansen, Limnologist
–Ancillary information
•Lake Mission Viejo
–Tom Buckowski, Biologist
•Boy Scouts
–Dave Brackmann, Fisheries
–Water Quality Modeling
•HDR
–Dave Roohk
•Agencies
–Orange County Health Department
–No health issues
–South Coast Air Quality Management
–No health issues
–California Fish and Game Department
–TCWD and IRWD

This is a slide pictured on the RSMWD website stating that there are no health issues. You should really check a few of these slides out on what they are doing to rectify the situation and who's n charge here. They borrowed some equipment for a period of time from IRWD to create some bubbles. What the hell, don't they see it's not working---HELLO!! I am ready to write or call the Governor of our lovely State. It's pretty apparent that nothing that we are all doing is helping in any way whatsoever. Finky, what happen to you? Did you give up?

It stinks like high heaven again. Started again at 6:44 this evening. So Freaking bad. I actually starting balling my eyes out. I am snapping at everyone in my life now. So freaking disgusted. So angry.

Anonymous said...

Everything that they have been saying is bullshit.. Seriously. They told everyone even the news that it would be a few days over a week ago before they even knew what it was. It's getting worse now, not better. I just want to know how come when the weather changed before in all the years I have been here, why has this NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE? Believe me, the weather has changed drastically before. It has gotten cold and than warm before. I have lived in the same condo for 9 years. Someone dropped the ball or something else is going on. Does no one agree with me? PLEASE TELL ME I AM NOT CRAZY HERE. Are we to put up with this now that the cold weather is here in the evening? It is suppose to be much cooler during the day in the next couple of days, will it smell all day and night now? I think not. No watering during the day. This is a terrible excuse.

I went to my dentist today and he is at La Paz an and the 5 Freeway. His office told me last week that when they came to work they had to go out and get candles. The whole office and complex smelled the way our place smells at night now. THey didn't know what it was. THey are not from around here. It took a while for it to get out of their office and away from their building. I bet it was because of the run off from the sprinklers. How much do you want to bet? Or the sewer lines with the construction that they just happen to be working on again at OSO and the 5 Freeway. Another Coincidence? This is bad people. Everything that was taken to E. Brokovitch was denied and denied and denied and denied at first. She had to fight and prove everything. I need to write to her again. How could this be sooooo wide spread how could they not see it is in sprinkler system. It would be far too much money for them to stop watering all the vegetation. It would cost billions and billions of dollars on landscaping. Please keep notes people.

Anonymous said...

Debbie says-

I just called Channel 7 news and she told me no one called in the evening about this. She said she has gotten no calls whatsoever. I was pissed off. She said she can't get anyone out here tonight. People you need to call. 1-877-777-6397. I told her it is getting worse and not better. If she sends someone out after we all call we need to meet them out here in the area. PLEASE CALL THEM... TONIGHT IF POSSIBLE. Tell them you heard about this on the blog page. If you have called during the day, inform her that you have called before. This is insane.

Anonymous said...

Pinecrest residents ARE still marching on City Hall this Thursday. Thank you, above, for contacting your 15 neighbors and gathering more troops. The stench began again right around 6:45pm this evening~after not having ANY odor all afternoon.

Our family has been having "cold" symptoms, which we have now determined are allergic reactions to whatever "irritant" is in the air. We are grateful to have replaced our windows recently, but feel for our neighbors who have not!

I just phoned the SMWD after hours line and got an answering service who claimed to have no information. This gal didn't care about our issues and obviously doesn't live in a home that smothers her with raw sewage odor.

I'm saving receipts from the required medications to soothe us during this awful time. SMWD better have deep pockets -- one to pay for the fresh water they are pumping into the reservoir; the other for the medical costs to those living in their jurisdiction.

Anonymous said...

That's a crock. I called channel 7 Eyewitness News three times when this all first began and nobody there wanted the story. They didn't think this was newsworthy. In fact, someone there told me I'd be better off contacting City Council Members. That's when I called Fox11 and was able to get them out here instead last Monday. I called Ed Laskos again today to see if he was interested in a follow-up story since things haven't improved for the residents and haven't heard back from him yet.

Anonymous said...

Debbie says-

I think my manager might have taken some of the residents advise and not run the sprinklers tonite. They have not come on yet and it still stinks in my home and it is still bad but and unbearable but it is worse when they come on. They are off so far. They 7:00 and 9:00 and 11:00 sprinklers have not come on at all. I am just praying that they don't come on. I live in Madrid. Does anyone else live here and notice the same thing that I am experiencing tonite as well?

Anonymous said...

SMWD are a bunch of fucking bastards. Someone fucked up, or wasn't doing their job properly. I hope someone got fired over this.

I bought a hepa air filter for my bedroom. Money is tight now-a-days for me and the air filter wasn't cheap. I wish someone would go to the SMWD board members homes and smear shit all over their walls so they can understand what we have to go through every night!

Anonymous said...

A group of us plan to canvass Painted Trails and Evergreen communities today with fliers about our march on City Hall tomorrow afternoon. If you live in these areas, please let your neighbors know we're coming. We want to rally as many troops as we can. Also, if you plan to attend, please bring a poster board sign voicing your thoughts!

finky the kid said...

@ Anonymous post from 11/10/09 at 7:02pm

Haven't given up. Just been travelling for work and can't update or respond remotely. Have been reading all the posts here and am glad my wife and I aren't the only ones who noticed this has returned and in a seemingly more pungent way.

Liek the idea about assembling in front of City Hall Thursday. Unfortunately I am buried in work and am not going to be able to early enough to make the rally.

BUT I think it's a great idea and will make a new post on this blog about it AND will let the OC register person I've been in touch with AND Cher Calvin from KTLA know about it. In the meantime, we have to keep being vocal publicly.

Got the flier on the mailboxes in the Pinecrest neighborhood, so thanks to whomever was responsible for that- great idea!

finky the kid said...

I've just sent a letter to Mayor Ury and copied the City Council and the Public Works department. I'll put a copy of the content in a new post on the main page of the blog.
http://finkythekid.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Debbie says-

I will go pick up a flier from Pinecrest and copy it and distribute it in Madrid today. I know we are all fed up here. I have no patience anymore. I am actually in tears. I am snapping at everyone. I am sure it is a lack of sleep as well, but this is just so ridiculous. I agree with RSMWD being bastards. We all have had are fill. I could just see someone losing their cool too much and then really making the news if you know what I mean. If I feel this way, I can just imagine what other feel. I can't believe that this is making me cry. My manager did not shut off the sprinklers, I think that he just cut back on them a little and didn't have all of them going last night. It is almost 10:00 am and I can still smell it today. There must not be that much wind today. THis is really bad. I am at my wits end here. Someone--where is City Hall????--cross streets please---

finky the kid said...

Debbie, it's across from the library at the SW corner of La Paz and Margeurite. I put the address in the new post on the main page of this blog, but for ease of access it's:
200 Civic Center
Mission Viejo, CA 92691

Anonymous said...

Debbie says-

Everyone, I just heard back from the scientist. Here is what he wrote to me.......

Dear Deborah-

I am a medical toxicologist, which means that I treat patients with toxic exposures. I do not perform environmental evaluations; I only examine and treat people with adverse health effects from toxic exposures. I was contacted by the OC Register to comment on potential toxic exposures in your area, which may or may not be related to hydrogen sulfide. If you are looking for an evaluation of potential toxins in your environment you would be better served by seeking assistance from an Environmental Toxicologist (I believe there are some located at the UC Irvine Main Campus), or perhaps an Industrial Hygeinist.

Jeffrey R. Suchard, MD FACEP FACMT
Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine
Director of Medical Toxicology
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, Irvine Medical Center
Orange, CA

If this communication involves discussion of patient care issues in the performance improvement process, it is protected from discovery by California Evidence Code 1157 as a confidential medical staff communication.

I wonder if the OC Register had anything to do with that? Thank you for the directions as well. Look forward to meeting you.

Debbie

Anonymous said...

Debbie Says=

Oh Yeah- forgot to tell you to that I also wrote to Elaine at KABC and told her that a bunch of people had called the station and reported the incident and that I don't know why they didn't want to air it. I told her I avidly watched Channel 7 News, and that now I had to rethink about my choices. I didn't like how they lied to me. I wrote her a nice e-mail. I will send it to you all later. I have a bunch of stuff to do right now. I have to go pick up that flyer from Pinecrest and make copies for Madrid.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Finky for the directions. I know exactly where that is now. I will be there. Debbie

Anonymous said...

Debbie says=

Where is Pinecrest????

finky the kid said...

Kind if the SE corner of Marguerite and Santa marguerita Pkwy.
Going north on Marguerite, turn Right onto Santa Margarita Pkwy, then 1st left onto Pinecrest. The neighborhood past the park is Pinecrest, combined with Ventana (which faces Marguerite, if you had gone straight instead of turning right onto Santa Margarita Pkwy.)

finky the kid said...

Just got an email from MV. City will stop public area irrigation starting tonight through Sunday night/Monday morning.
it obviously doesn't fix the source of the problem, but it will help us all breathe a little easier for the next few days (hopefully).

Anonymous said...

Debbie says-

So is Pinecrest off of Marg. or off of Santmarg.? See, I live off of Los Alisos and the 241. I live right next to the freaking thing. Is it by the Shell station, can you reference it that way for me please. Sorry, I am directional disfunctional. LOL here is my # 949-680-9717

Anonymous said...

1. You're welcome for the fliers guys! :) Hope to see everyone tomorrow.

2. AQMD Update: I called 1-800-CUT-SMOG. They truly have been actively out here testing the air. Problem is, they haven't been here when it is heavy in the night air. If they receive enough calls WHEN THE SMELL IS PRESENT, an agent will come out after hours to test the air from where you are calling. The more people that call, then not only will they come out, but it is classified as a PUBLIC NUISANCE. PUBLIC NUISANCE means that they will slap heavy fines on SMWD. If you receive a recording, don't let that put you off. Leave a message! They pick up their messages as soon as one is left.

Additionally, they did find that their Hydrogen Sulfide meters were reading a .03 AT THE RESERVOIR DURING THE DAY. If their meters read at .03 or above in our neighborhoods, that is immediately considered a PUBLIC NUISANCE (i.e. FINES TO SMWD).

Anonymous said...

Maybe that should be sent to our lovely Governor!!!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if they found out that we are coming tomorrow and that is why that they decided to cease watering? Hmmmm Just a thought. I bet that is why. They should have done this a while ago though. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out you don't use the contaminated water to water everything with.

Anonymous said...

I just got off the phone with Dan Ferons of SMWD. He just finished meeting with three of our Pinecrest Association Board Members and wanted to share with me what he shared with them.

SMWD installed 2 more aeration pumps and a special pump which moves the freshly aerated water to other areas of the lake. Today they are expecting a shipment of 10,000 pounds of Sodium Percarbonate and a special boat to disperse it into the reservoir. Tomorrow they will receive a second shipment of this substance weighing 14,000 lbs. Sodium Percarbonate turns the sulfides into sulfates - the outcome they need to have happen.

finky the kid said...

Thanks for sharing the encouraging news from SMWD. Let's hope it works. Quickly!

Anonymous said...

Debbie says-

Ok all, I cannot find Pinecrest. I just drove around and around. I found Ventana every other community. Spoke with all kinds of people in Madrid and informed them of the meeting tomorrow. The were telling me that they want to cancel their lease. I was telling them it they should go to the meeting tomorrow. Could you e-mail me a flyer? My e-mail address is- debknight1@cox.net I would really appreciate it. Thanks to all. Also, thanks for the update. I am also going to call channel 7 and inform them that they are going to stop watering until Sunday. Maybe that's news worthy.

finky the kid said...

@ Debbie-
From Los Alisos, go away from the toll road and towards the intersection of Los Alisos & Marguerite (you pass the Madrid complex on the way).

Turn left onto Marguerite. If you make the next left turn onto Mountain, that takes you up into Ventana and Pinecrest.

Alternatively, after you turn onto Marguerite, go all the way to the light where it intersects Santa Margarita Pkwy (the Claim Jumper and Shell Station will be on your left.) Turn LEFT at this light and the first street on the left will be Pinecrest.

finky the kid said...

Scratch that last part I meant:
Alternatively, after you turn onto Marguerite, go all the way to the light where it intersects Santa Margarita Pkwy (the Claim Jumper and Shell Station will be on your RIGHT.) Turn LEFT at this light and the first street on the left will be Pinecrest.

Anonymous said...

Debbie says= Thanks Finky she e-mailed me. I went to put it by the mail boxes and guess what? It's Veterans Day and no one will be checking mail today. I live in an apartment complex. I will put it on everyone's car when they get home.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Pinecrest Residents. You Rock!

The following excerpt is from a Pinecrest Resident. The city sent this out at approx 5:30 PM. I think the Letter of Intent was effective in getting the city to act accordingly.

City will stop irrigating with recycled water, again

The City will once again temporarily stop irrigating with recycled water in an effort to help quell the foul odor caused by an algae bloom in the Santa Margarita Water District’s Upper Oso Reservoir.

The City’s move comes as the water district continues to work to eliminate the odor that has prompted much resident concern.

On Monday, district officials told the City that two more aeration pumps were installed to help quell the foul smell and testing continues to indicate that conditions are improving. However, the City is hoping to complement those efforts since the Oso Reservoir is the main source of recycled irrigation water throughout Mission Viejo .

The Public Services department will stop irrigating with recycled water through Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Ok, why did it start to stink at 4:30pm, went away and come back again? I was about to celebrate one night of FRESH AIR. What happened?

Anonymous said...

I just traveled along Los Alisos (coming from an investigatory mission at the reservoir) and the smell is suffocatingly horrific at the Vons shopping center and Madrid apartments. I feel awful for all of you in the Madrids. It lessened as I approached Los Alisos and Marguerite. I promptly phoned the AQMD at 1-800-CUT-SMOG and reported the odor at the shopping center. There is no doubt in my mind that it exceeds the Public Nuisance level! Let's hope this gets the ball rolling for some air testing tonight.

Anonymous said...

If you smell the stench please call1-800-CUT-SMOG (some of us have already) and it will prompt you to a message press 2 and 2 again leave your name, address, phone, location of problem date and time.

The more people calling, hopefully the sooner they will act.

Anonymous said...

I had to leave and I came back and looked for my sign that I had brightly posted in Neon by the mail boxes and someone had removed it. I have no idea why someone would do that. I think it was the property managers. I don't know why, but I think they did it. I talked with people here and they want to move out of here. I stated on the notice that it wasn't their fault but it was the fault of RSMWD and the fault of City Hall. You would think they would thank me. Maybe I am jumping to conclusions. But who would remove it? It was a BRIGHT BRIGHT NEON GREEN SIGN. You could not miss it if you just drove past our mail boxes. I am pissed. I also went to CVS in the same shopping center and the same thing. It's terrible there. A girl that works there lives here as well. She can't stand it. She is in tears. SHe said a biology teacher that works at the high school is telling her daughter and the kids that it is harmful and they are asking if any of the kids need help. I think they are bringing someone else in the school.

Anonymous said...

Debbie Says=

Good News everyone. Look what I got from Laurie at the newsdesk. Channel 7....4:53 pm tonite

Hi Debbie,
This is Laurie Bossi, on the assignment desk here at KABC-TV. We are trying to do the story tonight, but I first need to reach someone with the Water District. If I’m able to do that, I will give you a call and let you know right away. Thanks so much for the information. If for some reason, we’re not able to do the story tonight, we’ll try again tomorrow night. Thank you Debbie! Talk with you soon,
Laurie B.


Laurie Bossi
KABC Assignment Desk
500 Circle Seven Dr.
Glendale, CA 91201
ofc. 818-863-7600
fax. 818-863-7080
laurie.a.bossi@abc.com

Anonymous said...

Awesome work, Debbie. Way to stay on it! A group of us had face time with a first responder from the AQMD tonight. We all filled out complaint forms. The reinforcements just came rolling up, group by group. It was a great turn out by our neighbors and I think we packed a solid punch. The rep encouraged us to call each day as we experience additional episodes.

The ironic thing is, he claimed to be able to smell the odor as we all stood there, but my nose is so used to it that I couldn't smell it at all...that's scary!

Anonymous said...

Here is the UNOFFICIAL SCOOP.

If meters register Hydrogen Sulfide at a .03 or above, it is considered an automatic Public Nuisance. The results on that are in...some neighborhoods were at that level or above. The levels were not high enough for AQMD to consider this a "health hazard" but definitely an irritant and a Public Nuisance. He was not able to specify which neighborhoods on the phone.

So far, it seems as if they will handle it administratively and slap some fines on SMWD for creating a Public Nuisance. But please remember, each day is a new day. And with each new day, we can call again. 1-800-CUT-SMOG.

I can't begin to tell you how my heart sang last night when I pulled up on Virginia and saw how many people were there to do something about this. I know how vindicated it made each and every one of us feel to have someone on our side. We have quite a cohesive, supportive neighborhood unlike any other!

Now let's go finish our job and show up in full force today at Mission Viejo City Hall at 4pm folks!

Calls and emails have been made into Fox11 to see if they want the follow-up story. I think another news station will be there as well as the OC Register. Also, please check the OC Register website. Rashi Kesarwani has been contacted (the reporter who has been covering this) a few days ago to let her know our intentions today at City Hall. Rashi was interested in the story and Laura was kind enough to make the return phone call and offer them a verbal statement yesterday on our behalf. It is in a short article in today's paper and online. Check it out!

Just as a friendly reminder, in order to remain within the law, we must assemble today in an orderly fashion. But we are, of course, welcome to bring signs to express our thoughts. Now let's go make our presence and displeasure with the lack of involvement of City Hall known!

robin said...

For anyone checking this blog now, apparently Debbie and other's efforts have paid off - the mother load! KFI AM 640, John and Ken Show (the most influential in Calif politics) covering this story right now after news!!!

Anonymous said...

FOX11 will be there, too!

Anonymous said...

So, our pilgrimage to City Hall resulted in not much more than total deflection of responsibility---remember that for the next election. The only person who was available to speak with us could only reiterate continuously that they have "Been in contact with SMWD." Sorry folks, but Big Fat Deal...so have we. And, I believe our efforts were far more effective!

Our biggest beefs with City Hall were A) that they should be helping to further our cause with SMWD and B) the they have had no effective communication with MV residents about their efforts. They rambled about their site and blog being loaded with info, but the only thing I like their loaded with is...well, nevermind!

The City claims to have no authority over SMWD and urged us (numerous times) to go directly to the SMWD offices - which we did, but I'll get to that in a minute.

After many poignant questions and statements from our band of supporters, we abruptly exited and headed directly to SMWD - with less than 20 minutes to arrive before the doors closed.

A very small group of us marched in and demanded to see someone high atop the food chain. We announced why we were there (though we expect that they knew exactly who we were) and were led into the Board Room to wait for Mr. Schatz, General Manager of SMWD.

He spent about 40 minutes with us, listening to our issues, allowing us to vent, and answering questions to the best of his ability. He even acknowledged that we are having obvious physical symptons, as he listened to us cough and sneeze for the full 40 minutes we were there.

I've got to applaud this guy for his candor and his remorse. Though we all believe SOMEONE should have seen this coming, you could tell this guy didn't knowingly sweep it under the rug.

The outcome of today's efforts? A funny interview on 64 KFI with John and Ken this afternoon, a strong presence at City Hall, and an informative Q&A with a big cheese at SMWD. All in a day's work.

What's next? It just might be another couple of weeks before the stench is completely gone. Why? Because they can only alter the water composition so fast without creating a hazardous air condition. They are moving as quickly and aggressively as they can using Sodium Percarbonate without poisoining us. In addition, WE ARE ALL INVITED to attend an SMWD Board Meeting next Weds. at 7pm to discuss our gripes.

I hope you all sleep well beneath the stink fog blanket tonight!

robin said...

No smell tonight! They didn't water, I noticed. On John and Ken's show today on KFI 640AM, they asked you to get back to them with what happened at today's demonstration. Take them up on it.

Anonymous said...

Bad news on the fact that it didn't smell tonight...the wind was blowing from the SE. We wouldn't have smelled it. I checked my theory out by driving into Painted Trails and Portola Hills - the exact places the smell would be headed based on wind direction and guess what? It smelled there. You can go on weather.com to check on wind direction and see. It is only when the wind is blowing from the north in some capacity that we'll smell it in Pinecrest or below.

Anonymous said...

I stayed behind and got a chance to speak with Fox11 news and briefly with MV Dispatch (which by the way is an excellent website for MV local news). Those of you who went to the Water District, did you happen to find out if they themselves tested the night air and if so what were the results? Thanks to Debbie and all for putting yesterday together and please keep us informed!

finky the kid said...

Amazing job, guys. Thanks to everyone who hhas doen and continues to make progress with this issue.

I spoke with one of the City Council members from RSM yesterday who told me they are inviting John Schatze - the head of SMWD- to come speak at their city council meeting next Wed at 7pm.

Anonymous said...

We did not ask them what their specific air test readings were since we know what the AQMD results were. AQMD results showed that some of our neighborhoods were at or above the .03 level - that constitutes a public nuisance and an irritant. SMWD knows we were the ones who called the AQMD. SMWD is meeting with AQMD this morning to discuss this matter further.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone happen to know if our story ever aired on FOX11 last night?

Anonymous said...

I taped the 10pm and watched it this morning and it didn't make it. Lots of people in my bank, Vons, and CVS that had heard about what took place yesterday and they were all very happy to hear that people tried taking a stand with the City in trying to get them to help us.

Anonymous said...

Debbie says----

I haven't been up to date on posting yesterday and today because I have been dealing with my cat who has been very ill---sorry guys, but I haven't given up on anything. They said they have stopped watering however, on the way to a Dr. appointment today, I saw atering all along the slopes across from Mission Viejo lake. I couldn't smell anything and it was about 10:00 this morning. I was taking my cat to the vet. Has anyone seen any watering thus far?

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