Mysterious substance washes up at Harbor View Yacht Club

HARBOR VIEW, Ohio (WTVG) - It’s a story that doesn't seem to pass the smell test.

Something gross is washing up next to the boats at Harbor View Yacht Club near Oregon. Now the search is on to find out what it is, how it got there and who put it there.

So what is it all?

It looks to be brown in color, it smells really bad and there appears to be big chunks of it sitting near the docks of Harbor View Yacht Club near Oregon. It was spotted by club members Wednesday night.

"We thought it was first part of the algae bloom, then when we noticed the other build up we became more suspicious that it was something other than the algae bloom," said Dave Holzemer, Commodore of the Yacht Club.

The green algae is something they're used to this time of year.

"But the chunks or whatever you want to call that, the irregularity in the algae, that's not common," said Harbor Master Bob Feyesh.

There are some theories as to what all this could be. If it's feces, did a sewage treatment plant have a discharge or did maybe some freighter discharge its waste, that ended up here? So what could it be?

"I'd hate to venture a guess. It almost looks like feces but it could be something else I'm not an expert on it," said Holzemer.

Holzemer says his facility is hooked up to the sanitary sewer systems and has the outhouses emptied weekly, plus his club isn't even large enough for this kind of volume so it's not believed this all originated here. It's just their mess now.

"Somebody made a mistake and turned the wrong valve. We got the byproducts of that," said Feyesh.

Oregon's city manager says it wouldn't be theirs, their plant wouldn't discharge into that area. A city of Toledo spokesperson they did not have any discharges recently. They were made aware of the issue and will work with the Ohio EPA if needed.

A spokeswoman send this statement to 13abc:
Today, Ohio EPA staff followed up on a call regarding the channel at Harbor View Yacht Club. The material appears to be algae. To be certain, staff collected a sample for analysis. Whether it is algae or another material, people should use common sense and avoid contact with discolored, slimy or smelly water and wash their hands (or bathe) if they do contact the water.