Today I have a few things on my mind and thought I’d chat about them here. One of them concerns that gawd awful stink on the east side of the Dumbarton Bridge in the Bay Area.
Of late I’ve been finding myself crossing over the Dumbarton Bridge in the Peninsula/East Bay region and I must say that there is one seriously pungent odor on the east (Fremont) side of that bridge that makes me think of poop that’s been sitting around in the sun for months, piling up and going rancid. Yes, rancid poop! It’s so bad even my dog starts rubbing his face on the car seat and squirming around trying to get the smell off him.
I’ve seen some reviews saying it smells like fish but I think the best descriptor is raw sewage. That’s what this could be best described as. But as I look around, I am seeing a fascinating thing with this southern most part of the bay. It doesn’t have the advantage of fresh flowing delta waters rinsing or moving in fresh water. Instead, things drift to this location and tend to stay there, sitting stagnate.
The region has had its issues from spill off from mercury mines of yesteryear and raw sewage having been dumped in the bay. (It’s awesome how humanity can forge ahead, but never quite look ahead to see what their actions can cause.) today the San Jose Sewage treatment plant dumps “clean” waste water into this area of the Bay at the rate of 120 million gallons a day.
I’m seeing folks know about the smell, and now, I read that there are even clouds of bugs over there. Oh, this gets better by the minute. (I’m a mosquito feasting magnet.) But what gets me is one answer that surprised me:
“When the tide in the bay goes out, plants and baked mud are exposed (to the air and sun) and, well, they can stink, says Paul-the-Mercury-News-Environment-Man. Winds can also carry the odor from landfills and San Jose’s sewage plant toward your commute.“
So as far as I can tell, this odor over the Dumbarton bridge is an accumulative smell from the baked mud that smells like rotten eggs, to garbage and sewer smells and “clean” water from a nearby sewage treatment facility.
I finally found at least one scientific reference that denotes that the rotten egg smell is the smell of biological progress! When plants and animals pass on in the marsh, they decompose into the marshes there.
So there’s the best answer I can find… I think. That poop smell is, well, poop!