A fault at a Mount Maunganui wasterwater plant has sparked a series of complaints about a foul odour in the area.

Tauranga City Council this morning confirmed a a faulty flow meter at the Te Maunga Wastewater Treatment Plant caused some unpleasant smells in the area in the past 24 hours.

Group communications advisor Emma Cottin said the flow meter fault caused waste-treating bacteria to get out of balance, hence the odour.

The fault was now fixed, but it was expected to take some time for the bacteria to return to normal levels, Ms Cottin said.

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The odours were expected to subside within the next 24 to 48 hours.

''We apologise for the bad odour and any inconvenience this may cause. Should you have any concerns about odours from the plant or have any further questions please contact the council.''