When Margaret Hammond, a volunteer at the Doctors House Museum in Brand Park, directed a young couple to the nearby Shoseian Whispering Pine Teahouse & Friendship Garden on Sunday, she didn't expect them to come back complaining about the smell.
But they did. And that was after she raved about how it's a great place to host a wedding or a party.
“They said, ‘Oh my gosh, it smells down there so bad you wouldn't want to go anywhere near it. You certainly would not have a party,” Hammond told the City Council Tuesday during a council meeting.
The smell was emanating from the murky water in the pond outside the teahouse because of broken pump filters. One koi fish died from the dirty water.
Although staff checks the pond daily, it's been a few days since the problem was first detected, said Community Services & Parks Director Jess Duran, adding that it takes time to fix broken filters because the city has to research if they contract with a vendor that can sell them the part or if they have to handle it internally.
The city ordered new pond filters on Wednesday, he said.
But Hammond was aghast at the water's condition, especially because it affects the quality of life of the more than a 30 koi fish, 30 turtles and 40 other species of fish that live there.
“It's really sad, sickening to me, anyway. Anything that has life is worth looking after,” she said. “The pumps are out, but they should be repaired when there's life in that pool.”
Duran said he was unsure if the city would buy a new fish to replace the dead koi.
At Tropical Imports, a Glendale pet store, koi fish can run from $7.99 to $120, depending on the size and type.