This is a repost of an article I posted on May 5. Since there was a frontpage story in the AV Times today (June 3) on efforts to find the source, I thought I would repost this post and ask again that you keep sending in your reports so as to give Guy Cicon at the City and Larry Cross at Catalyst the best possible idea about where the smell is on any given day.

If you text or email me the information as you smell it (number below) I will immediately forward it to Guy Cicon so that if it’s strong enough they might just run out and use their little vaccuums to gather up the stench.

Send your report to any of the following:

Report it at where this thought originated.
Jot it down in an email to me (
Leave a comment in this post,
or text me (250-918-0027).
Here is the criteria you need to provide… please try to be as specific as you can.

Strength of Smell: (scale of 5… 5 being physically affecting you, watering eyes, nausea, etc)
Nature of Smell: (rotten eggs?sewage?wood?tides?)
Weather: (any wind? rain? I will try to correlate it with information here)
Tide: If possible check if the tide is in or out, again, I can double check this.

If you send me that information, then I will post it on this map:

View Port Alberni Smell Tracker in a larger map

I look forward to your reports. Together, hopefully we can make a difference.

(Please text only to the phone number, I likely will not respond to voice calls.)

About The Author

22 thoughts on “Help Track the Smell – Repost

  1. June 6th, @ Elizabeth & Johnston at 5 p.m. Smell I would rate a 3, smelled like sewage. It wasn’t very breezy, nor was it raining. I do not know about the tide.

  2. Hi: I have a home on Gertrude. “The Smell” on June 3rd made me think we had a sewage leak at our home – June 9th was terrible. It smelled like raw sewage and dead fish four days old on the door step. My car still reeks from the smell and I’m in Tofino now!!! What is this all about? As new home owners we are a little bit concerned to say the least. Absolutely gut renching!

  3. Hi Deane:

    Thank you for your report. And welcome to Port Alberni! I wish your welcome could have smelled a little nicer! Suffice to say this is a problem that has been “lingering” for a while, and just this past year it started to get really bad… which is why there has been so much talk about it recently.

    If I were you, I’d send a letter to the editor and put in verbatim what you just posted here. This is the kind of things long time residents like myself are afraid of… scaring people away from our otherwise wonderful little City!

    Hang in there. We’re going to get it fixed.

  4. June 12, 3:00 pm, 1 hour past high tide, sunny, 24C, wind slight from SW, Victoria Quay: level 2.5 dry, choking sulphur smell – like the old mill.

  5. try not to be so hard on the mill smell, with out it there will be lest money in the city, for anything

  6. While the smell is likely from the ponds across the river, here is another idea: Sometimes sulphide smells are associated with earthquake activity, are they not? Perhaps its an early warning.

  7. hey chris, so july 3rd top of johnson, tebo ave down to 7-11 it was a wall of stench.. got better right at the welcome to …figures.
    strong sulphide/ egg crap, gotta get outta here!

  8. And the question is whether it’s the sewage ponds as you say… or Catalysts ponds (which are the bigger of the two).

    The cities pond is only the smaller light green rectangular one to the north of the large Catalyst ponds.

  9. you ppl have too much time to talk…
    go over to the &*%^& pond and stick your head in….duh
    this town is a toilet bowl for wind conditions..
    with a shit pond in the middle…
    oh! and a giant pulp mill…
    not to mention the *(&&( pond is surrounded by intertidal swampland…
    it stinks more @ high tide does`nt it..
    good one….some mystery!!!!!

  10. I think its the Cities pond that is overloaded, and I think the “solution” will be a partnership with Catalyst to tap into the greater capacity at Catalyst so that the whole system can cope better and hopefully the smell goes away.

  11. This isn’t about talking. Everyone knows there is a problem.

    This is about gathering reports to show the City and Catalyst and the Ministry of Environment so that they actually do something about it or are forced to do something about it.

    And it’s working.

    I look forward to your reports.

  12. sorry about the language..but this seems stupidly easy…
    all this hum and haw when its right in front of our eyes…
    what does catalyst say?

  13. That mill stunk up our town… as a
    kid the smell was much worse.!
    there used to be gray snow!
    they since have cleaned up..
    but some of the residual pollution from the past may be resurfacing as well????

  14. I know, I grew up here and remember the “old smell” well. Definitely worse than this… but still nasty business.

    When I talked to Catalyst they said they weren’t sure whether it was their ponds or the Cities. The good news is the air samplers they were given will settle there “where” once and for all. The key will be to make sure those results are public.

  15. July 7th and 8th. Smell started around 10pm each night. So damn hot but I had to shut the windows because the smell was so aweful. I would give it a 4 out of 5. Location: 3800 block of 7th ave. Smells like rotten egg and sewer.

  16. Lower 3rd Ave (by Big O Tire) @ 8am. Rotting fish smell. (Not usually this far south). My car showed 17c so not overly warm.

  17. Chris: Sorry for the delay but summer weather has gotten in the way of using the computer. The Smell on June 3rd would have been about a 3.5 when I first noticed it around 9:00 AM. July 9th was the worse with The Smell being about at 4.5 and was first noticed from 10AM onward. Hope this helps. I have noticed it a few other days but none as bad as June 3 & 9th.
    Not to worry about being chased out of Port. Of all the places I have lived Port is the best and we are very happy here – Smell or no Smell 🙂

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