As the band Lynyrd Skynyrd famously sang, “Oh, that smell.”
Off-gassing near the wetlands and Colorado River was to blame for a bad smell wafting through the valley, the City of Moab said on June 21.
The city said on social media it had received multiple calls about the smell.
“Our engineering staff has done some research and we can confirm that the odor folks are smelling is coming from the wetlands on the west side of town,” the city’s statement said. “All the rain we’ve received this spring resulted in high water flows in the river and, consequently, much water in the wetlands. The odor is the result of the decomposing vegetation in the wetlands and along the Colorado River, which is off-gassing sulphur and methane.”
The “swamp gas” is a natural occurrence and atmospheric pressure changes and wind patterns carried the smell into town, the city said. The odor was reported outside of the city’s limits as far as Spanish Valley. The smell was expected to dissipate within a few days although “much depends on the weather,” the city said.