What is that smell?

Briana emailed us about a “pungent broccoli-type smell when biking over the Ballard Bridge and down around Trader Joe’s.” She says she’s smelled it the last few days. Does anyone know what the smell is?

39 comments on “What is that smell?”

  1. I thought it was that awful lake of standing water across from Edith’s house.

  2. There actually is a strong smell throughout that area, but it’s not brocolli. It does smell like standing water–almost sewage.

  3. Yes – I noticed it too over the weekend while riding on the burke-gilman. It’s really bad. PS Clean Air Agency is charged w/ looking into odor complaints. I’ll call their # and suggest others do to if the stench lingers…..

  4. I’m with Jon.

    Chances are good it’s the Soil Exchange. I’ve notice compost stockpiled there before – some smelling not so good.

  5. It’s not the fertilizer place. If you ever catch a bus at 15th & Leary, the fertilizer place smells strongly… of fertilizer.

    This is different, and noxious, and can be smelled from anywhere on or near the Ballard Bridge.

  6. I live in Wedgwood and I’ve smelled it the last couple of days too. I thought I was imagining things. So glad that you posted this. But it seems as though it’s bigger than Ballard if it’s also all the way over here.

  7. Peeee-ewwww! Generally when we get this smell in Loyal Heights we attribute it to the sewage plant in Magnolia…. but Wedgewood?

  8. We live just north of the 24th ave QFC and we’ve smelled it for a few days also. It smells similar to the stench of paper mills in Longview. Maybe it’s a sign that everyone should actually scrub the compost bins at least once a season?

  9. Yes, I’ve smelled it over in the west edge of Ballard, especially last night in the humidity – it reminded me of The Aroma Of Tacoma, the pulp mill smell. Or when the bark piles at Carpinito’s Brothers go bad. Or when a now-gone neighbor would burn his trash.

    I wondered if it was the pre-trash-day stench of cans at the curb, multiplied by the humidity …

  10. When the wind blows just right, we here in the Ballard area catch a whiff of the sewage treatment plant in Magnolia’s Discovery Park. It happens — When I was younger I lived a few miles from a pig farm. On a hot summer day, when the wind was just right —- wow.

  11. It is the rotting carcASSes of all the trolls on the forum and comments.

    News?-It is a neighborhood blog. Go watch glen beck DB.

  12. Pretty sure it’s coming from the fish processor “Alaskan Venturer,” which is moored just East of the Ballard Bridge. It came into town last week and from the ship canal it looks like all the hatches and holds are open, and it smells awful! Maybe they are airing it out after processing fish all summer.

  13. Ah that smell takes me back, back to Old Ballard. The Good Ballard. A simpler time of buggy whips and box socials, of cold water flats and cholera. Where packs of rosy-cheeked children roamed the streets without a care in the world, merrily pickpocketing wealthy men-about-town in their sealskin tophats.

    You see, not many people know this but back at the turn of the last century Ballard was home to a wave of Italian immigrants, who came as part of the Great Spaghetti Rush. Naturally, they brought with them their treasured native foods. No one in Seattle had ever seen a tomato before! Oh there was such a celebration when people discovered you could eat them, and not just use them as a very ineffective substitute for bleach.

    Am0ng those suspicious rarities was a green, nobbly, mysterious vegetable. We now know it as the humble broccoli. The center of Italo-Ballardian broccoli cultivation was based around the future site of the Ballard Bridge, and it became a booming business. At the time Broccoli was often used as packing material for the salmon fleet, as a suppressant for “base urges”, and as an industrial lubricant. Unfortunately, time passes and the future marches ever on. The Ballard bridge trampled the Broccoli Grounds when it was constructed in 1917. Nevertheless, to this day descendants of the original broccoli farmers secretly plant their broccoli around the bridge, as a form of remembrance. Yearning for a time when Ballard was known by its old nickname:

    Brassica Junction.

  14. I row in the evenings down the ship canel towards the locks, and I’ve been smelling this odor for almost a month now. It’s especially strong around the Fisherman’s terminal and concentrated in one area, so I assumed it was a fish processor or a boat. I’m definitely sick of it – it’s extremely pungent on the water. During one practice my teammate almost puked because of it.

  15. That would make sense. We’re in northeast Ballard — the wind blows directly at us from where you say that boat is, and for the last week or so the air has smelled like stinky dead fish. I was wondering if something died under our front porch.

  16. They have amazing hOMEMADE FOOD AND LIVE MUSIC!!!!!!!!!!

  17. It smells like poop from the bridge all the way up to Crown Hill where we live.

  18. Yes. Noxious odors that linger and penetrate entire neighborhoods are news.

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