Firefighters investigate pond-related odor in South Hadley 

  • File photo  File photo

Staff Writer
Published: 1/8/2019 1:25:02 PM

SOUTH HADLEY — A noxious odor closed Route 116 near 7-Eleven for about two hours on Monday, according to South Hadley Fire District 1, but fire officials say there is no cause for public concern.

The odor was caused by hydrogen sulfide gas from Titus Pond, which sits across the street from the 7-Eleven at 426 Newton St., according to Fire District 1 Captain Jim Pula. A member of the public walked into the fire station at around 11:30 a.m. to report the odor.

“It’s the runoff from the pond that goes under the road, and we believe the gas was coming from the pond and coming up through the open grate in the storm drain where the water runs through,” Pula said.

Hydrogen sulfide is a “highly flammable, explosive gas” that can pose serious health hazards, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, but the fire district found “no hazardous concentrations outside the storm drain.”

“We believe it had something to do with the conditions of the pond, possibly with the ice on the pond trapping the gas,” Pula said.

He said the town had also cleaned some debris out of the overflow which was blocking the pipe, “and once the water started to flow we believe that’s when the odor started to pick up.”

Employees of the 7-Eleven were evacuated while the odor was investigated and were allowed to return to the building.

The smell is still present in the area, Pula said, and will have to “run its course.”

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at jvoghel@gazettenet.com.

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