If you thought the air in Calgary smelled bad this week, you're not the only one. A number of calls were made to the Calgary Fire Department over the week about a terrible smell in the city. The reports spurred an investigation and the city finally has some answers about the cause of the weird smell in Calgary.  

Apparently the smell was so bad that it left some locals feeling concerned for their safety. People took to social media to share their questions and concerns, and some got really creative to describe the smell. 

The Calgary Fire Department confirmed in an official statement on Thursday, April 23 that they received "dozens of calls" from citizens about a "nuisance odour."

The calls were made from all over the city but were mainly concentrated in the northeast of Calgary. 

It turns out that it wasn't a hazardous gas leak or rotting corpses that caused the odour. It was in fact the ice melting in a stormwater pond. 

If that isn't the most Alberta explanation, we don't know what is. 

Apparently, ice in stormwater ponds traps odours while it's frozen, so when it starts to melt, some not-so-sweet smells are sent into the air. 

"Odours from storm ponds are normal due to the decay of accumulated organic material," read the fire department's post.


It turns out that the smell was coming from the airport. The Calgary Airport explained in a tweet that the stormwater pond is located in the airfield.

When asked by a user why the airport isn't "aerating the pond to cut down on the emissions," the Calgary airport explained that they are going to review and take steps to improve their "stormwater management procedures and infrastructure" to address drainage, water quality, and these weird smells. 

The mystery may have been solved but throughout the week, Calgary locals took to social media to discuss the smell. Some of their descriptions were both vivid and hilarious.

On the What's happening in Calgary Facebook group, a user posted a screenshot of the Calgary Airport's tweet. In the comments, locals reflected on the collective experience. 

One user said, "Smells like dead corpses on a daily." 

Another user commented, "legit thought it was a giant litterbox." 

One user couldn't resist a bit of inter-city rivalry, saying, "Edmontonians visiting again." 

Someone else thought it was a gas leak. "We live in Tuxedo NW and the hubby thought it was propane. Thanks for the update!" they said. 

Another commenter had some strong reactions, too. "So basically it smells like raw sewage and sulphur death; nostril burning gasses!!!!" they wrote. 

One person joked, "So it wasn't the motorcyclists farting xD." 

Turns out the warm weather isn't all flowers and sunshine — sometimes you need a nasty smell to remind you that winter is finally over. 

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