Raw human sewage was being willfully discharged from a South Island rural property, prompting local authority and Environment Court action to plug it.
Blair Edward Armishaw, who owns a rural property north of Oamaru, was ordered to not use any toilets, stop using his septic tank and have it pumped out by professionals.
The Environment Court at Christchurch said a neighbour complained of offensive and objectionable odours coming from 1010 Weston-Ngapara Rd, Elderslie.
The Otago Regional Council went to court to ensure Armishaw immediately stopped all unlawful discharges of human sewage from his site.
No toilet facilities can be used there within seven days of the order, issued this month.
Armishaw was ordered to disconnect and secure all toilets so they can't be used to dispose of human sewage.
He must also empty and de-sludge the septic tank there and have any waste material in it removed and properly disposed of by a professional service.
Affidavits supporting the action came from a number of parties involved including enforcement officers and neighbours Andrew Curtis Gibson, Megan Jayne Rowlands, Nigel John Wilson and Jason Matthew Augspurger, the court said.
Wilson complained to the council in February that Armishaw's septic tank outlet pipe on his property was causing greywater to discharge directly across Wilson's place.
Council officers visited and in early March, told Armishaw what they had found and of the unlawful discharge of human sewage from his property.
Armishaw agreed to fix it and was warned that if he didn't, an abatement notice would be issued, the Environment Court decision said.
He failed to act.
So by March 14 when Wilson noticed another active human sewage discharge, the council officers used a dye tracer to confirm the sewage came from Armishaw's place.
Armishaw again took no steps to fix it.
So the council issued an infringement notice which Armishaw also ignored.
Wilson continued to complain about sewage, which he said was causing a significant adverse effect on him and his family.
Offensive and objectionable odours covered a discharge area of about 80sq m "which has effectively become a wet, stagnant area that is not usable by Mr Wilson and his family which includes a young child", the court noted.
So the council went to the Environment Court and was granted an ex parte notice to cap the offender's toilet and tank.
"There has been persistent and deliberate non-compliance by Mr Armishaw with regards to the unlawful discharge of sewage from his property. The extent of his non-compliance, coupled with the nature of the risk to the environment posed by the ongoing discharge of human sewage, is justification for the court to make the interim orders sought on a without notice basis, and without a hearing," Justice Prudence Steven decided on May 6.
Armishaw must now provide and maintain alternative, safe and sanitary portable toilet facilities at the site.
By now, he will have had to have stopped using any toilet at the place and ensured the septic tank is out of action and pumped out.
The action was taken under the Resource Management Act.