MENASHA (WLUK) -- Something stinks on Lake Winnebago.
“Stunk. Like high heaven,” said Chris Vandersteen, a Menasha resident.
Concerns from those who live in the area poured into the fire and health department all week.
“It was just putrid. Worse than a manure pit,” Garth Wagner described the smell.
Todd Drew is the sanitarian for the Menasha Health Department.
“The complaints came in under the assumption that it is a sewage issue or some sort of sewer gas,” he said. “It does smell similar to that, but it's definitely the lake.”
The smell is a consequence of the blue-green algae blooms on Lake Winnebago.
“We didn’t even go outside at all for the last week,” Wagner said.
Residents said the smell was so bad they couldn’t even stand to be by the water.
“You wouldn’t have been able to take it,” said Wagner. “You’d get sick.”
For those who live on the water, staying inside wasn't a fix.
“It was hard to keep out of your house as well. You had to run air conditioning or something like it to filter it out or it would get bad inside too,” said Vandersteen.
Wagner has lived on the lake for 40 years, and he’s never experienced such a widespread number of blue-green algae and overwhelming smell.
“This was just unbearable,” he described it.
He said he had to reassure his new neighbors that this is not a common thing.
Drew said if the weather continues to cool off and the wind stays, the algae will continue to move out quickly.
Friday's weather already helped some, and the smell was once again bearable.
Drew said the says the smell alone is not harmful, but people and their pets shouldn't touch or stir it up.