Some people haven’t noticed it. Some people have been demanding we get answers. Does Yellowknife smell?
The ‘Niven Smell’ associated with anaerobic respiration at the former sewage lagoon is a known phenomenon – but this seems bigger.
Several residents wrote to Cabin Radio late on Thursday evening, saying the smell was unlike anything they had previously encountered.
One individual tweeted: “Alright, Cabin Radio, where is your Facebook article explaining why half of Yellowknife smells like sewage?
“I was inside Independent and I smelt it, and then all the way home. I can smell it in my house.”
Another responded: “Before, it used to be just by Niven. But now it’s everywhere.”
Yet not everyone can recall experiencing something similar.
Other residents polled by Cabin Radio had no recent memory of a lingering stink, and the City appeared nonplussed.
“To my knowledge, the City has not received any complaints about unusual smells,” a City of Yellowknife spokesperson replied by email when asked about the issue on Friday.
The City did, however, provide a list of possible culprits if you are experiencing olfactory distress:
- Both the former sewage lagoon (Niven Lake) and the current one can give off an odour at certain times of year
- The two trucked sewage dump stations, on School Draw Avenue and by the Multiplex, can give off a “strong but temporary” odour
- The City has open construction trenches with sewage mains being worked on in the Frame Lake area
- Fourteen sewage lift stations can give off a smell during annual maintenance and cleaning
Beyond that, the City is at a loss to explain any unusual smell you’re experiencing.
If the smell persists, we recommend showering. Just to be sure.