That smell permeating the Herald Square subway station for lord knows how long? The MTA and the city seem to have finally identified the culprit. According to the Wall Street Journal, the foul essence of the city's third-busiest station is thanks to a cut sewer line beneath a building at Sixth Avenue and West 31st Street, three blocks away.

The paper reports that the Department of Environmental Protection sent inspectors up the tracks and encountered a "strong odor" where the line connecting the building at 876 Sixth Avenue to the sewer system was breached, a scent the MTA said was pulled into the station by the movement of subway trains. The building's owner, Raizada Vaid with a company called Pinky Realty, according to property records, told the Journal he believed a utility company or contractor may have severed the pipe, but said he didn't know about it until now.

The DEP reportedly put dye down the building's drains after spotting the leak and, when they saw it show up on the subway tracks, knew they had a match. There's no guaranteeing the smell is going away any time soon, though, as it's on Vaid to fix it and he, or someone from his company, indicated that they may take legal action to identify the culprit and make them pay. If only there was a beneficent billionaire out there looking for new ways to pour his money into fostering the public good.

The paper says that complaints about the stench have been coming in "for weeks," but our own research shows that the funk, or some sort of funk, has been present at the stop for at least six years. Back in 2011, Fox5 reported that there was human poop sitting in the station, but the MTA countered that "the pungent odor emanating from the area appears to stem from the homeless population there."

For more to ponder while also contemplating lunch, here are some of the many ways straphangers have described the eau du Herald Square since 2010:

Like sewage/excrement (ding ding ding!):

Like fart(s):

Like a trip to Nepal, but worse:

Like a gas leak:

Like ratchet-ness:

Not like a monkey exhibit at the zoo:

But like a petting zoo:

Like weed:

Like a chemical weapon:

Like actual Hades:

Like baby powder:

Like Donald Trump is upstairs:

The MTA did not respond to a query asking whether it had determined separate causes for the odors of Herald Square in years past, or if they all seem tied to this sewage leak.

If you think it's ridiculous that a station with 39 million riders annually has stunk of diapers et al. for over half a decade, tell your state representatives and Governor Cuomo to stop robbing the MTA of badly needed funding and figure out a way to come up with more cash for a 21st century subway system that harbors fewer nostril-hair-curling pools of excreta.