(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Get ready to hold your nose, environmental experts are warning residents that another foul odor could cover the region this weekend as cold weather makes its way into the area.
According to Tom Decker, a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) spokesman, Great Lakes biologists are anticipating another upwelling in Lake Erie in the coming days as cold waters make their way to the surface and cause foul odors to spread.
Decker also said these odors will likely be stronger than the ones that spread over the region in late September.
Right now, Lake Erie is still in its summer stratification, meaning there’s a warm layer of water sitting on a colder bottom layer which can be deprived of oxygen and traps noxious gasses — carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide. When the lake upwells and brings that cold water to the surface, it also releases those gases that give off a nasty stench.
Decker said extensive areas of Lake Erie’s central basin, areas west of Presque Isle State Park, still have bottom layers of oxygen-depleted water.
The incoming cold front expected to hit the Erie area this weekend is expected to break Lake Erie’s summer stratification by mixing the top and bottom layers and releasing those noxious gases.
Decker added that while the release does produce an odor, it is not harmful to people’s health.