Wanganui District Council is considering pumping untreated waste directly into the sea if a new plan to deal with the stench coming from the sewage treatment plant is unsuccessful.
The foul smell has been afflicting parts of the city since before Christmas and resulted in the council being issued with an abatement notice for breaching the regional air plan.
Mayor Annette Main said the plan now is to spread a slurry of lime on the surface of the sewage ponds which would suppress the odour within hours.
If that does not work, she said, untreated waste may have to be discharged into the sea.
James Newell of the Wanganui Surf Lifeguard Service says he does not have a problem with that, as long as it is a short-term measure.
He said it should not affect beaches to the north of the outfall, including Castlecliff, and there are fewer people using them now the school holidays are coming to an end.