A Canadian Dairy Queen was plagued with a foul odor for three whole years, and even turned to crowdsourcing to get to the root of the problem, CBC News is reporting. At one point, the desperate owner even offered free ice cream for a year to the person who got to the bottom of it.
Fortunately, someone figured it out.
Sujad Bandali, who bought the northeast Calgary Dairy Queen three years ago, said that the terrible smell of rotten eggs permeated the store, to the point that customers complained. He had to put a sign on the door saying that everything was OK and that the building was safe.
Bandali thought it was a natural gas leak. Natural gas is naturally odorless, so utility companies add a chemical to it to give it the smell of rotten eggs.
“I smell it like propane and then sometimes you smell it like hydrogen sulfide kind of thing and sometimes it’s just some kind of gas.”
However, the utility company, ATCO, failed to find a leak. Three times they came out, including hours before the grand opening, and three times they came up bubkus. The Calgary Fire Department also failed to pinpoint the reason for the stench.
“It’s bothering me so much that I can smell it everywhere now, even when I’m home.”
Desperate, Bandali turned to crowdsourcing, according to CTV News.
— CBC Calgary (@CBCCalgary) August 9, 2018
Bandali offered free ice cream for a year to the sleuth who got to the bottom of it. More specifically, he offered a free Blizzard (Dairy Queen’s signature milkshake-like treat) per week for a year to the lucky winner.
Suddenly, everybody had ideas.
“We had from one end of Canada to the other end, people were responding. They were leaving us voicemails and emails. Our phone hasn’t shut off, we finally had to modify the message. We almost had to hire a full-time person to answer the calls.”
It was a utility technician who finally figured it out. The unnamed technician had the idea to do what’s called in the industry a “dead check” – that is, the heater and all of the other appliances that use natural gas are shut off. If the meter continues to run, then there has to be a leak. And when someone thought to look in the ceiling, they finally figured it out.
Bandali says he can now breathe easier – literally.
“Finally, I proved it to everybody, I was not losing my mind.”
It is not clear, as of this writing, whether or not the utility technician who finally found the source of the smell has taken up Bandali on his offer for free Blizzards.