The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department (NAD) got a lot of complaints about the nasty stink in southeast Fort Collins. We found out the odor was largely caused by Duck Lake on the south side of Carpenter Road and east of Timberline Road.

The stink was caused by low oxygen levels causing the decomposition of algae and increasing the hydrogen sulfide smell.

Because of the discomfort this has caused NAD has taken action according to a City of Fort Collins press release:

- The City of Fort Collins Water Quality Lab has run water tests to help better understand the issues and identify potential solutions.

- Seeking advice from an aquatic consultant who has historically helped the Parks Department solve similar issues. Some direction has been provided and a follow-up meeting scheduled next Monday based upon the availability of the consultant.

- At the request of the consultant, we have completed a bathometric survey of the lake to determine the surface area and volume; which are needed to calculate amounts of chemicals that could potentially be used to mitigate the odor and reduce the algae.

- Met with two adjoining landowners/farmers to explore options for using NAD-owned irrigation water to fill and possibly flush water out of Duck Lake. Adding water may help aerate the water and flushing the lake could help even more; we are awaiting a final opinion from water quality experts. We have found one good option to run water and are working on another.

- Renting 1000 feet of pipe that will be installed on 7/12 to direct NAD irrigation water into Duck Lake, perhaps starting within the next 4-5 days.

- Working to rent additional water to potentially enable flushing Duck Lake and possibly Mud Lake.

- Reactivated one of the two Solar Bees, which are floating pumps designed to improve oxygenation in the lake to help prevent or reduce odors, that had shut down over a year ago when the lake became too shallow for them to operate. The intent is to have the second Solar Bee replaced by the end of next week. The company that maintains them comes from Montana. They are going to assess our situation to determine if more Solar Bees would be beneficial; if determined to be beneficial it will be approximately 8 weeks before they can manufacture and install the additional Solar Bees.

- Meeting with representatives from Bio Char Now on 7/12. This Berthoud Company produces charcoal from pine beetle kill lumber and wood waste from the Larimer County Landfill. They claim that their Bio Char Now filters can remove the nutrients from the water which are causing the odor as well as absorb the hydrogen sulfide odor.

- Also exploring several other potential short-term and long-term solutions.

NAD is also working to prevent this problem from happening again.