Southern California breaking news and trends

Days of 'rotten egg' smell prompts clean-up at LA port

shipping containers port of los angeles

Photo by Greg Bishop via Flickr Creative Commons

Approximately 150-200 gallons of rancid water seeped from the ground at the Port of Los Angeles causing a strong "rotten egg" smell and prompting an official clean up on Tuesday.

The spill and smell near Berth 136 was reported to shipping personnel by a plumber over the weekend, however it was not addressed until "the foul odor became more pronounced," according to port spokesman Phillip Sanfield, reports the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

LAFD officials were alerted just after 11 a.m. on Tuesday, and 20 firefighters were dispatched with a hazardous material team to the San Pedro port, said department spokesman Erik Scott. 

Scott classified the situation as a "static spill" of hydrogen sulfide -- a poisonous compound often associated with sewers. Tests revealed "rancid water, which may explain the rotten egg smell," Sanfield said.