A series of strong weather events in winter has deposited seagrass along the coastline of Warnbro Sound. In some circumstances, decomposing seagrass may release hydrogen sulfide, a colourless gas characterised by the odour of rotten eggs.
It can also occur naturally in some environments as it is often associated with the decomposition of organic material.
Hydrogen sulfide’s characteristic odour can be detected at very low levels, well below those that are known to cause health effects.
To ensure that the decomposing seagrass poses no health risk to residents, the City recently purchased a hydrogen sulfide meter.
Three rounds of testing along the beach near the Bent Street Boat Ramp has returned readings that indicate there is no risk to public health as the level of hydrogen sulfide is insignificant.
Mayor Barry Sammels said the City would continue with a fourth round of testing on 2 October to alleviate any concerns over hydrogen sulfide in the area.
“To ensure there is no lasting impact on the community the City has tested for hydrogen sulfide in the area near the Bent Street Boat Ramp,” Mayor Sammels said.
“Three tests conducted on 11, 18 and 25 September have demonstrated the odour does not pose any risk to public health.
“Another test will be conducted on 2 October by the City’s Environmental Health Officers.”