A Dannevirke businessman says a highly toxic odour wafting across his business yesterday made him sick and he was forced to close his business and tell staff to stay at home.

"I've been sick, vomiting, had diarrhoea and dizziness and it's because of the stinking, toxic stuff drifting over my business from the council's sewage ponds," Ben Lund told the Dannevirke News yesterday morning.

Lund runs a furniture business that also makes beehives, from premises on the corner of Millers and Makirikiri Rds.

And although he thought the offensive smell was coming from the Tararua District Council's sewage ponds, the Dannevirke News has been told this isn't the case. But the council has offered no explanation for the odour, which was also smelled by district mayor Tracey Collis.

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A call to Horizons Regional Council's pollution hotline went to an answerphone when Mr Lund rang yesterday, but Mrs Collis has confirmed regional council staff have contacted council staff regarding the matter.

When the Dannevirke News drove to the corner of Millers and Makirikiri Rds yesterday morning there was a strong, headache-inducing odour, but further around on Makirikiri Rd where the council's main sewage ponds are, there was no smell.

Lund said he believed the stench was coming from a small council pond directly behind his premises. The council's utilities manager could not be contacted.