Something is rotten in the Village of Schoharie

January 23, 2018 07:04 PM

SCHOHARIE - Fair Street in the Village of Schoharie looks normal. It sounds normal also.  It does not, however, smell normal.

"At first it smelled like sewer and then I thought an animal died," laughed Fair Street resident Becky DeGroff.

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Since Christmas, residents have been complaining of a foul odor but didn't know what was causing it or, even, where it was coming from.  And people tried - oh how they tried.

"Our whole family walked around the yard. We have a big field but couldn't locate it...we couldn't find one spot where it was the strongest," explains another Fair Street resident, Morgan Henry.

The stink even went viral - in Schoharie at least. Online message boards and social media were abuzz with the aroma.

"It smells bad now, where are you located? It's been a bit of a mystery, a bit of fun,"  DeGroff recalls reading online.

Weeks in, the authorities were called to investigate.  The smell seemed to worsen after a temperature change.

"A lot of people thought it was a propane leak and apparently they found one in town and fixed it but the next night it was back," adds DeGroff.

So Schoharie County Emergency Services headed out again.  And this time pinpointed the pungency.  It was a decomposing radish field.

"That's just how it goes, we are agricultural," joked Henry.

When radishes rot they emit Methyl Mercaptan.  It's a harmless albeit stinky gas and now, at least, the Fair Street stench can now be described as more salad than sewer.

"If that's the biggest problem we have to deal with I''ll be ok," believes DeGroff.

Mercaptan is added to natural gas - which is odorless - so it can be detected.




Abigail Bleck

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