Retention pond raises stink in Winnipeg neighbourhood

Residents of Winnipeg's Riverbend area are raising concerns over a retention pond creating a pungent smell.

Usually a scenic place to walk, the retention pond on Red River Boulevard West is causing quite the stink.

"I've lived here 32 years, and I've never ever experienced it. It really smells like a cesspool," said Janice Boettcher, who lives across the street.

Boettcher said the smell from the pond is stopping her from enjoying the weather.

"I like to sleep with my windows open until it gets cold, and I have not had windows [and] doors open because of the smell. You just can't sleep at all," she said.

Down the block, Dustin Leclerc said the smell is embarrassing when having company over.

"Particularly when people come to visit, you have to make excuses, 'oh, it must be the water.'"

In a statement to CTV News, the City of Winnipeg said the smell is due to the hundreds of geese calling it home this summer.

"A bacterial bloom occurs as a result of heavy nutrient loading — an abundance of bacterial colonies form in the water to try and break down those nutrients. The bacteria colonies are what cause the milky appearance, and the odour results from the bacteria releasing gas as it breaks down the nutrients," read the statement.

The City of Winnipeg said the smell will likely go away in a few weeks, and in the meantime, they're sealing manholes in the area to help mitigate the problem.

As for residents near the pond, they'd like to see a more long-term solution to ensure it doesn't happen again.

"Some kind of treatment or whether they maintain the pond or whatnot," said Leclerc. "I wouldn't want to see the wildlife disappear."

"I hope somehow as residents in the area, we can get some results and something will be achieved that will satisfy us," added Boettcher

In a post online, area councillor Jeff Browaty said he is aware of the issue and went to check out the pond.

Browaty said he is working with waste and water to see if pond maintenance has changed.