'It was pretty gross': Saskatoon mom says poop fell from sky onto family's deck

"It was amazingly localized," Saskatoon woman says of brown spots which landed on her back deck.

Spatter of smelly dark spots hit deck of Stonebridge home shortly after family barbecued supper

"It just looked like droplets that came from straight up," said Kristl Tipton. "It was pretty gross." (Kristl Tipton)

Kristl Tipton says she knows poop when she smells it.

Tipton said her family was on the back deck of their home on Rempel Lane just before 7 p.m. CST Tuesday, making barbecued chicken and asparagus. 

Her four-year-old son played with his toys on the deck, while her 12-year-old daughter tended to the chicken.

Tipton and her children brought the food inside, ate then ran an errand. When they returned they found a spatter of "perfectly circular" brown spots dotting their back deck.
Smelly round brown dots spattered this deck, on the 700 block of Rempel Lane in Saskatoon Tuesday evening. (Kristl Tipton)

"We smelled it and it smelled like poo," said Tipton. "It was pretty gross. We were pretty happy we were not barbecuing at the time."

Tipton recalled thinking it was mud.

It was definitely not a normal mud smell.- Kristl Tipton, Stonebridge resident

She looked around and saw no other neighbours or children in their backyards. Her husband and neighbours were unaware of the spatter.

Then she took a closer look.

"It was definitely not a normal mud smell," she said. "It didn't look like bird droppings at all."

"It was pretty amazingly localized."

Nothing similar fell on neighbouring homes

Tipton then examined her barbecue. She saw no signs of wayward grease or food drippings that would explain the pungent brown dots.

"There was nothing that was in the neighbour's yard or down the stairs or anything," she said.

"It was droplets that came from straight up, there was no spatter pattern that indicated the direction it came from other than straight from the sky," she said.

"It was just so mysterious to us, how it happened, how it was localized to that one spot," she said.

Droppings closely resemble 'blue ice' incidents in B.C.

That night, a neighbour sent her a photo of a woman in British Columbia whose vehicle was hit by what Transport Canada suspects may be "blue ice" dripping from an airplane's sewage tank.

Tipton said the size and shape of the spatter pattern of the feces on her deck appeared virtually identical.

Officials at Transport Canada said Wednesday they've received a "substantial" number of calls about similar incidents.

In an e-mail to CBC this week, the agency said "it is possible that a valve malfunctions and allows some leakage of the tank's content."

"If this happens, the liquid seeping from valves freezes and adheres to the outside of the aircraft when the aircraft is flying at high altitudes," officials wrote.

"As the aircraft starts its decent and the atmosphere gets warmer, the ice will start to melt and pieces will detach themselves from the aircraft. These pieces of ice will either melt or remain in their solid state before hitting the ground," the e-mail said.

'It was pretty gross'

Tipton frequently sees planes flying over Stonebridge, and suspects that's what happened in this case.

"It was pretty gross. We figured we'd just better wash it off." she said, noting she scrubbed off the spots and used Pinesol to disinfect the area.
Tipton's 12-year-old daughter brought this barbecued chicken in from the deck minutes before she and her mother discovered the brown spatter outside. (Kristl Tipton)

Later that night, she emailed Transport Canada, indicating the droplets fell at roughly 7 p.m. and providing her address

"I don't expect anything," she said. "If it was an airplane or whatever, I hope it gets fixed so it doesn't happen to anybody else."