Raw sewage has been pouring into the Meduxnekeag River in Woodstock for about a week, and crews don't know how much longer it will take to fix.
Human excrement, used condoms, swollen tampons and cigarette butts were just a few of the items observed floating along the picturesque river on Thursday.
Repair crews say the sewer line is blocked and overflowing, but they don't know the cause.
CBC's Shane Fowler reports the smell is only notable up close.
But Allan Curry, of the Canadian Rivers Institute, says just because the smell isn't bad, does not mean it's not a bad problem.
The leak could cause "increases in algae blooms, increases in bacterial levels and ultimately, the death of some of the fish," he said.
The extent of the damage will depend on exactly what has been pouring into the river and the amount, said Curry.
He says the river can handle the human waste, it's the other items people flush that he's worried about.
"There's no way for a natural ecosystem to deal with those plastics we put into these systems, whether it be a lake, a river or ocean. Only a million years, or so, of time can take care of those things," Curry said.