Put up your hand and just apologise

By Anna Wallis

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Editorial

HYDROGEN sulphide was dumped into the already overloaded wastewater treatment plant on Friday.

So, just in time for Christmas then.

Wanganui again reeked as fumes from the hydrogen sulphide - that eggy smell - made their way over parts of the city.

The city was subjected to the first dose of stench on December 9, which turned out to be an extra 56 tonnes of protein waste a day pushed into the system for several days. The normal daily input from Wanganui's wet industries is 10 tonnes a day.

This time a company's pump into its sulphide tank had broken down, and it was unable to hold or treat any more waste.

What we have yet to be told is who is responsible for the first problem and who is responsible for this latest dumping. The Wanganui District Council's line is that it can't say who is responsible for the first offence and it won't say who is responsible for the second.

Meanwhile residents, especially those to the southeast, had to put up with noxious fumes at the most important time of the year, with not only their own Christmas to worry about but an influx of guests as well.

On Christmas Eve the council apologised to everyone who had to put up with the smell.

But it is now time for a company or companies to put their hands up and apologise also.

It could be argued, and the council may well take this line, that nothing will be achieved by penalising people, and we need to do all we can to help business in Wanganui.

Unfortunately it's people who live in the odour-stream of these malfunctions - to use a charitable term - that are being punished.

It's time for a new year's resolution for this big stink - and that's a literal resolution.

- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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