‘Poo smell’: bad odour emanating from North Lake caused by rotting vegetation


Rotting vegetation on the fringes of North Lake has been blamed for a bad odour.
Rotting vegetation on the fringes of North Lake has been blamed for a bad odour.

RECENT rain over Perth might have helped our dams but it did little for vegetation on the fringes of North Lake, with our noses paying the price.

People took to social media last week seeking answers to the cause of the strong smell of faeces affecting people in Kardinya, Winthrop, Melville and even Mount Pleasant.

Some queried whether the odour emanated from a brick manufacturer, or from as far south as the Kwinana industrial strip.

But a Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions spokeswoman put the bad smell down to the effects of heavy rain at North Lake in the suburb of North Lake.

“The area has been investigated and officers have determined that the likely cause of the odour is rotting plant material on the banks of the wetland,” she said.

“The recent above average rainfall has increased the water levels in the wetlands and this has impacted on the fringing vegetation by submerging the grasses and plants, with the plant material beginning to break down and rot over time.

“(This has produced) the associated odour.”

The spokeswoman said the odour was more noticeable when large numbers of plants were impacted.

“It is a natural occurrence and the odour should dissipate over the coming days,” she said.

City of Cockburn officers visited the area last week, concluding the lake was to blame.

“North Lake is particularly susceptible as there are large amounts of non-native grasses within and surrounding the lake,” environment manager Chris Beaton said.

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