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What's that smell? Some East County residents complain of strong odor in the air

Posted at 7:34 AM, Nov 03, 2023

LAKESIDE, Calif. (KGTV) — Some residents in San Diego’s East County said they've been dealing with a bad smell in the air for several days now and they want to know what is going on.

The smell is described as a strong, sewage-like odor, but others described it as rotting eggs.

ABC 10News caught up with one woman named Jeanne Swarigen, who said the smell was so bad in her home that she had to leave and is now staying in her camper at Lake Jennings Campground.

"I’m here because my house is so stinky, I can’t live in it," said Swarigen, who added the smell does not travel up to the campsite.

The Lakeside Water District told ABC 10News that the county thinks it’s the soil along the San Diego River that saturated from the water flowing from the El Capitan Reservoir, giving off a rancid vegetation order.

The City of San Diego told ABC 10News their public utilities department looked into it and doesn’t believe it’s related to El Capitan.

ABC 10News reached out to the county after hours to find out if they knew where the smell was coming from, but they did not respond as of the publication of this story.

However, for Swarigen, the reason for the smell doesn't matter; she just wants it to go away so she can go back to her home.