East County's Lindo Lake has foul odor, neighbors say

Posted at 11:16 AM, Jan 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-30 20:05:07-05

LAKESIDE, Calif. (KGTV) - Parents in Lakeside have called into 10News concerned about a foul odor emerging from Lindo Lake.

The lake is across Lakeshore Dr. from Lindo Park Elementary. Some parents tell 10News the smell is so strong, kids complain about it coming into their classrooms.

One mother, Brandy Bachar, has a fourth grader at the school and said in recent weeks the smell has become unbearable.

“It smells,” said Bachar.  “For my kid to get out of the car every morning and cover her mouth like that, it doesn’t make me happy as a parent.”

Bachar described the odor as a, “very very strong sewer smell,” while other residents like Angela Accardi says it smells like “decaying garbage.”

They say the lake was dry for quite some time, but the recent winter storm earlier this month filled it with water and that’s when they noticed the smell.

“I don’t know if the county can do something about it, if the water needs to be recirculated?” she said. “Something needs to be done for the health of our kids.”

Both women wanted the smell gone but they did not know who to contact for help.

“It should be investigated and make sure it’s not a hazard,” said Accardi. “I assume because I see the ducks and swans still swimming and walking that it may not be hazardous but they would want to check it before it would get to that point.”

Bachar said she hopes sharing her concerns will have the proper agency alerted, so the problem is resolved.

“I know it’s not something that’s going to be solved in a day by any means, but as long as they are understanding that parents have concerns and we’re not okay with having this smell in our community, that’s my goal,” she said.

The County of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department issued a statement on the matter.

Our team received a call last week from a resident regarding a bad smell he believed was coming from Lindo Lake’s east basin. Our rangers have visually inspected Lindo Lake and we have not seen any obvious potential sources. There are no fish die-offs. There is some decomposing vegetation, but nothing out of the ordinary.

County Parks is working with several agencies to identify the cause of the smell; the County’s Air Pollution Control District is sending inspectors to the area, and we’re also working with County Sanitation, SDG&E and County Environmental Health to rule out high-risk factors like air quality, and sewage and gas leaks.

We contacted County Sanitation last week to see if the smell was sewage related. They came out to check for leaks, breaches and contamination and per their findings, there were no sanitation concerns. We also contacted SDG&E to see if the smell might be connected to natural gas. While initial findings didn’t reveal any issues, they are continuing their investigation today.

The health and safety of our park patrons and neighboring communities are top priorities for County Parks.