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Here's what's causing the scent of 'corpses' wafting through Calgary skies

Friday, April 24th 2020, 6:25 pm - Giant litter boxes. Dead bodies. 'Sulfur death.' Those are just some of the words used to describe the stink.

Giant litter boxes. Dead bodies. "Sulfur death." Some pretty powerful images were being evoked on social media to describe the unpleasant smells wafting through the skies in Calgary this week — but fear not.

The Calgary Fire Department has received numerous calls throughout the week about strong odours.

The calls have come from all over the city, but have been concentrated in the northeast, the department said in a release Thursday.

"Smells like dead corpses," a Facebook user called Eric Buchamer posted on the What's happening in Calgary public group.

"Opens the sinuses at 6 a.m. real quick!" said Buchamer, who works down wind of a particularly stinky stormwater pond at the Calgary International Airport.

CBC - Calgary lake With weather warming and ice melting, organic material that has been trapped for months under snow on stormwater ponds, like this one near the Calgary airport, is decomposing and causing a smell. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

"Thought it was a giant litter box!" posted Facebook user Adrianna Adelle.

"So basically it smells like raw sewage and sulphur death; nostril-burning gasses!!!!" posted another member of the group who goes by Indie Gee.

But don't worry.

It's just rotting vegetation in the stormwater ponds, according to the fire department.

With weather warming and ice melting, organic material that has been trapped under snow on the ponds for months is decomposing.

Stormwater pond odours don't pose a risk to public health or the environment, the department says.

This article was written for the CBC.

VIDEO: A VIRTUAL TOUR OF ONE OF THE MOST INHOSPITABLE PLACES ON EARTH

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