Why does my lake smell bad?

A healthy lake should not smell bad, but there are many reasons why a lake might periodically smell unpleasant. Stagnant, poorly oxygenated water contains bacteria that create hydrogen sulfide gas, which gives the water a rotten-egg smell. Often that poorly oxygenated water is hidden several feet under the surface, and the water. smells fine. Windy cooler weather can cause a lake to mix, which brings the bad water to the surface where we can suddenly smell it. In Florida, this most commonly occurs in October, right after our first cold front, but episodes of foul smelling water are common throughout the warmer months of the summer and fall. During aeration startup, a lake is forced to mix in any weather, so a temporary bad smell is expected. However, once the bad smelling gasses are released, aeration prevents them from re-forming. Other sources of stink near your lake include algal blooms and dead organisms (including plants or fish).

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