Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009 | When the air becomes still around the bay near downtown San Diego, Richard Zizian awaits the waft of rotten eggs.
“You could come out of your door and smell it in your hallway,” Zizian said.
The smell has become familiar over the past few months to the 60-year-old Zizian, who was the first resident to move into the Grande North luxury condominium complex off Pacific Highway in August 2005. It wasn’t until more recently that he learned the stench, which pervades areas in and around the Grande, could be more than a nuisance.
A gas from sewer pipes called hydrogen sulfide causes the odor. Sewage produces the gas naturally and at low levels it doesn’t stink. But greater concentrations of hydrogen sulfide smell like rotten eggs. At its highest levels hydrogen sulfide, though at that point odorless, can be deadly.