Pond stench 'horrific'

By John Maslin

1 comment

A couple living on a lifestyle block next to Lake Wiritoa reckon Horizons Regional Council staff monitoring the smell coming from the city's waste ponds must be "smell deprived".

That's the conclusion Tracey Jarman and Alistair Duff reached after speaking to one of the staff who was monitoring for odour yesterday afternoon.

"The woman was parked up on the road side near our property. We wound the windows of our car down and got a strong whiff of the sulphur smell coming from the ponds," Ms Jarman said.

"But we were staggered when the woman said all she could detect was a 'musty' smell," she said.

"We rang around our neighbours and they could all smell the odour but not this Horizons officer."

She said that was the "last straw" for her and prompted her call to the Chronicle.

The couple, who have lived on their Kaitoke Rd property since 2005, have written to Horizons about the stench which they said had been so bad on occasions it had neighbours close to being physically ill.

"There have been days and nights when the smell has been horrific," Ms Jarman said, "to the point that it stings your eyes."

She said since December the stench has worsened.

"All we can do is come indoors and close up the house. It's been so bad on some days that I've had to re-wash our washing."

She said there would have been only a handful of days when the smell had not been obvious in the Lake Wiritoa area.

Like others in the neighbourhood, she and Mr Duff had to spend more than $20,000 to be part of a waste treatment system in the subdivision, stipulated by the Wanganui District Council because of the type of land their homes were built on.

"We've had to be very precise with what we can and can't put into that system because the council stipulates what we can and can't do with it, yet we're being forced to live with the stink from the council's own treatment ponds," Ms Jarman said.

Meanwhile new aerators are operating in ponds as the district council continues its efforts to neutralise the stench wafting from the ponds.

Mark Hughes, council's infrastructure manager, said the third of the new directional aerators from Central Hawke's Bay has been working since Tuesday afternoon.

"They (aerators) are helping to push the flow back to slow its speed through the pond, giving more time for the top layer to become more oxygenated," Mr Hughes said.

Meanwhile a line, used to get more oxygen into the main pond, was being modified.

The line is connected to a blower-type aerator and is essentially a weighted pipe with holes used to pump more oxygen into the middle the pond.

"We are building a new one using a different design that we think will work better than the first one," he said.

A further 20 tonnes of lime slurry was dropped into the ponds on Wednesday.

And the atomiser fence, which sprays a fine mist into the air over the plant to try and neutralise the odour, was being extended around the complex, while a different atomiser product was being tested.

Horizons Regional Council had continued monitoring odour coming from the ponds and it was expected to report its findings to council this week.


Horizons hotline

People can report issues to the regional council phone line 0800-652 071



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