Residents angry about stench along Bayou Manchac
BAYOU MANCHAC, La. (WGMB) — “I've waded through all this swamp, high water, low water, crawfish whatever you want to talk about and I've never seen this smell before," says Johnny Braud
What Johnny Braud is smelling is a stench that stinks like rotten eggs. It’s something he's never experienced in the more than fifty years he's owned property out on Bayou Manchac
Jonathan Scott lives along the bayou. He and his neighbors think they know what's causing the foul odor.
"We suspect that there's a wastewater treatment plant that overflowed with last week's heavy rains and got into the water system," says Braud
Scott has been living out on Bayou Manchac for more than fourteen years and he describes the water as normally having a black tea color has a greasy sheen over it from what he believes is sewage overflow.
The Department of Environmental Quality says the cause isn't pollution. It's just nature.
"Some oils exist in plant materials naturally when they decay. In these swampy areas under natural conditions they float to the top and sometimes can have a very similar appearance to an oil slick, but they're not oil related at all," says Chris Piehler of D.E.Q.
D.E.Q. says the source of this smell is the swamp around Spanish Lake several miles away.
But Scott fears with this type of thing happening all the time. It could mean tragic consequences for the area.
"The water quality of Bayou Manchac will continue to degrade. We'll have fish kills and then when we lose the fish, we lose the alligators and the turtles and the birds," says Scott.