A woman living near Wellington's sludge trucking operation has resorted to wearing face masks to deal with the stench.
Last month a pipeline failed in a wastewater tunnel beneath Mt Albert.
As a result, more than a million litres of sludge has to be transported every day by truck from Moa Point Treatment Plant and the landfill at Carey's Gully until the pipeline can be repaired.
It's one of several recent infrastructure failures, which have forced Wellington City Council to launch a mayoral task force and prompted calls for an investigation into the operation of Wellington Water.
Moa Point Rd resident Andrea Cootes said the smell from the sludge operation was revolting.
"It smells like someone's done a poo. I cried and thought if this is how it's going to be, I'll go and stay somewhere else, it's been that bad.
"And it's hot, so you want to leave your bedroom windows open, but I've had to close them because my bedroom smelled like a toilet."
Cootes has taken to wearing a face mask when hanging out the washing or doing gardening.
Trucks transporting the sludge also smelled when they drove by on the road around the South Coast, she said.
"But what can they do? They're working as fast as they can to get rid of the problem."
A Wellington Water spokesman said the organisation had not received any formal complaints relating to the odour from the trucking operation at Moa Point since late January.
If residents were concerned, they should call or email Wellington Water or Wellington City Council's contact centre, or get in touch with Greater Wellington Regional Council's environment team, he said.
Another resident, Marlene Mulholland, said she was also keeping her windows and doors shut.
She was used to the smell from living close to the plant, although it had got much worse since the trucking operation started, she said.
"If it's a hot day with a bit of wind then it's really bad, mainly a northerly.
"But it's just something you tolerate really."
The sludge pipeline from the treatment plant to the landfill runs for 9km and consists of two pipes, which usually operate one at a time to allow for maintenance.
Wellington Water considered it "highly unusual" both pipes failed, especially because the infrastructure was only about 25 years old.
If the trucking operation wasn't doing the work of the broken pipeline, sludge would be flowing directly into the Cook Strait.
In 2013 there was another failure in the pipeline caused by a cavity in the concrete encasing, which is effectively an installation defect.
Well-installed pipes should last for at least 100 years.
Sea Rottman also lives on Moa Point Rd and said she has spent less time at the beach this summer because of the smell.
"It's been a really windy summer so most days it's been absolutely disgusting. We can't be outside, we can't have the windows open at night.
"We're used to the smell of sewage living at Moa Point but it's pretty much constant and it's much more extreme."