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Abatement notice issued as odour continues

MEDIA RELEASE

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Abatement notice issued as odour continues

Wanganui District Council has been issued with an abatement notice by Horizons Regional Council following on-going objectionable odour from its wastewater treatment plant.

The notice is a legal directive requiring Wanganui District Council to cease causing an objectionable odour beyond the boundary of its wastewater treatment plant within the next four weeks. It follows a formal warning issued by Horizons in December 2012.

Horizons group manager strategy and regulation Dr Nic Peet says while Horizons recognises that mitigating or solving issues at the plant may be difficult, the odour is objectionable and its on-going impact on the people of Wanganui means it must be resolved.

“Industrial processes like those occurring at the wastewater treatment plant will always produce an odour. It becomes an issue when an objectionable odour extends beyond the property boundary affecting other residents and businesses as is clearly the case in Wanganui,” Dr Peet says.

“We know the district council is taking steps to address the issue and is keeping Horizons staff appraised of progress. It is a complex problem but the district council is in breach of regional rules around air quality and as the regulator we need to act accordingly.”

Dr Peet says Horizons will continue to support the district council as they take steps to mitigate and solve problems at the plant and understands that Wanganui District Council will be looking at the design and functioning of the plant as soon as possible.

“The district council has identified that unusually large amounts of trade waste entering its plant have resulted in the recent widespread objectionable odour problems. Horizons understands that Wanganui District Council will be ensuring that the industries discharging industrial waste to the plant do not exceed the conditions set in their consents with the district council.

“However, the plant has had a number of problems since it opened which mean that it has not being functioning as it should. This raises the fundamental question of whether the plant, as it is currently designed, can cope with even normal consented amounts of industrial and domestic waste water and, if not, what needs to be done to fix it. ” he says.

ENDS