Monitor system works to learn more about Salton Sea smell

MECCA, Calif. - You know the smell well - the rotten egg one we get a whiff of when Salton Sea conditions and wind patterns create the perfect smelly storm. Last September, it got worse.

"There was an event where during a windstorm , more than just the Coachella Valley was involved. People in the San Fernando valley, 100 plus miles away noted this odor for the first time in anyone's recollection," Supervisor John Benoit said. 

Now, local smog regulators approved a $200,000 Sulfide Monitoring System for the Salton Sea - to monitor the presence of hydrogen sulfidE, notifying officials when levels get high. When the smell got bad last year, hundreds of  concerned people jammed phone lines calling 911. Turned out, the smell wasn't dangerous.

"It's so we can assess the data and be able to communicate to the public if there are levels they should be concerned with," of the 

There are two stations. One at Saul Martinez Elementary School in Mecca. The other is at the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indian Tribal land near the north end of the Salton Sea. 

The monitoring systems making the valley one step closer to getting rid of the smell.

"We're going to be looking at how much it'll cost to fix it, having real data you can point to is important in that discussion," Benoit said. 

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