For the last few days, a rotten stink pervaded the southwest metro.
People in Chaska, Shakopee, and Eden Prairie walked around squinting, noses crinkled, wondering, "What the hell is that smell?"
"Really the best way to describe it is that it smells like rotten eggs," said KSTP reporter Beth McDonough, bravely reporting from Chaska last night.
"It smelled like a sewer line, is what it smelled like. It was just very difficult to take a breath because it did smell so bad," Chris Weldon with Scott County Emergency Management told McDonough.
You know the stink is bad when they get emergency management involved.
First the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency thought the source might be the Flying Cloud landfill in Eden Prairie because a contractor was doing work out there. MPCA employee Patrick Hansen was actually saddled with the task of driving out there to sniff around.
"We drove the perimeter back and forth most of the morning. We could not detect any odor," Hansen told KSTP.
Once the dump was crossed off the list of suspects, Gedney Food Company, which has produced pickles and other food in Chaska since the 1890s, came forward with a confession.
Gedney has operated its own wastewater treatment plant since the late 1960s and it aerates the plant's holding ponds every spring after ice-out.
"It's normal for this process to generate odors for 24 hours," the company wrote in a statement.
Mystery solved; crisis averted. It was the pickle people. The good news is that the smell has already begun to fade in the southwest metro.
Send news tips to Ben Johnson.