3 Aug 2015

Fresh smell bothers Eltham residents

5:46 pm on 3 August 2015

A new stink is getting up the noses of Eltham residents, who today celebrated Fonterra being fined $192,000 over last year's rotting buttermilk smell.


Eltham Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Fonterra dumped about three million litres of buttermilk into the Eltham wastewater plant in October 2013, and the area has had an odour problem ever since.

The Taranaki Regional Council laid a representative charge of discharging odorous compounds, covering 3 March to 16 May 2014, under the Resource Management Act. The company was found guilty in July and sentenced today.

The South Taranaki District Council has also been fined for its role in the incident.

John Moore said, since the district council began remediation work on the covered pond at the plant, a new stink had become apparent.

He said for the past three weeks it had emitted a very strong sewage smell in the mornings, and sometimes at night.

Mr Moore said they have never had the smell before and neither the district nor regional council have been able to explain it, or say when it will go away.

The Taranaki Regional Council said staff had responded to four complaints from one household in the last two weeks about an intermittent sewage-type odour.

The council said at the time of inspection, shortly after the complaint was made, no problems were identified at the wastewater plant.

It said the decommissioning of the covered treatment pond at the plant by the South Taranaki District Council was almost complete and was not considered the source of any odours.

Some residents have said they are still considering civil action over the earlier stink.

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