Residents spew over sewer stink

RESIDENTS of a Coffs Coast street are kicking up a stink about the stench from a sewer hatch that is so repugnant it keeps them locked up in their homes.

Neil Mercer said his family's Christmas was 'destroyed' by odours emanating from a sewer hatch at the corner of Queen and Waterloo streets in Woolgoolga.

“The stench is so bad it makes you physically ill, you can't enjoy the outdoors,” Mr Mercer said.

“When we were building our home in 2007 the building inspector even commented on the stench emanating from the hatch and that something should be done about it.”

Mr Mercer said he and his neighbours have been contacting Coffs Harbour City Council since June last year about the issue.

“If this stench came from a private on-site septic tank, there is no doubt that council would have issued a notice demanding repairs within 14 days,” he said.

“But because it's council facilities, the ratepayers suffer.”

A spokesperson for Coffs Harbour City Council said the pit in Queen Street is an air valve pit on the sewage rising main that extends from the pump station at The Boulevarde at Mullaway to the Woolgoolga Water Reclamation Plant.

“The purpose of the air valve is to vent air in and out of the rising main, to ensure the protection of the pipeline and effective operation of the pump system,” the spokesperson said.

“The odours are from the air that has been released into the pit and then escaped through the lid.”

She said council is currently designing a ventilation system that pipes the odours from the pit through a carbon filter to eliminate the odours, and the lids will be replaced with gatic gas tight lids.

“Work is expected to commence in the next two weeks to install a vent pipe with the carbon filter,” the spokesperson said.

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