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SK residents wonder, 'What's that smell?'

Apparently we’re not the only ones that get a little stinky when it’s hot.

The pungent smell emanating from Port Orchard Marina and other spots along the Sinclair Inlet is just another side effect of the generous helping of warm, sunny days the Puget Sound region is receiving this summer.

Though it may not be pleasant, officials from the Kitsap County Health District said there are few health concerns with this normal occurrence.

“It’s pretty common,” said Stuart Whitford, water program manager with the district. “Whenever it gets really hot like this, it seems to be pretty bad.”

Whitford said a combination of decaying seaweed and active bacteria works together to create the strong stench. It is especially common in shallow waters and mudflats, both of which Sinclair Inlet has in abundance.

“The shallow bays, where you have mudflats exposed and seaweed decomposing once the tide goes out, those are the ones that seem to get really bad,” Whitford said.

Whitford said his department has not received any complaints recently about the smell near Sinclair Inlet, guessing that most residents are used to certain odors.

There is no public health hazard caused by the odor, Whitford said, although he advised people to bathe frequently and quickly after swimming or splashing in the water, and not to drink the water.

As always, Whitford added, harvesting shellfish anywhere along Sinclair Inlet is not recommended.

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